The Philadelphia 76ers traded center Darryl Dawkins to the New Jersey Nets yesterday in exchange for a first-round selection in the NBA's 1983 college draft and, reportedly, more than $700,000 cash.

The 6-foot-11, 258-pound Dawkins averaged 11 points and four rebounds last season, his seventh with the 76ers.

76ers owner Harold Katz--who also was reported to be negotiating with the San Diego Clippers for permission to talk to former star center Bill Walton--refused to disclose specifics of the Dawkins deal, saying only, "We're trying to reach Darryl right now." The trade gives the 76ers three No. 1 picks in next year's draft: their own, the one they hold from Cleveland for 1977's trade of the late Terry Furlow, and the Nets'.

Nets Coach Larry Brown didn't see Dawkins as a savior.

"It wasn't my decision," said Brown. "The guy has talent. He's young and I hope he'll help us. It will be competitive in the middle. Lenny (Elmore) and Mike Gminski did a great job for us there last season.

"I haven't spoken to (Nets owner) Mr. (Joseph) Taub. I can't ask to make a financial commitment of this kind, but I'm happy that he did. I think Darryl has terrific potential. We don't have to give up any players, which I was very sensitive about."