The Los Angeles Lakers resumed their makeover yesterday by trading Gary Payton and Rick Fox to the Boston Celtics for Chucky Atkins, Marcus Banks and Chris Mihm.
The Celtics also received a conditional first-round draft pick and cash in the deal and sent a second-round pick to the Western Conference champion.
After losing to Detroit in the NBA Finals, the Lakers traded Shaquille O'Neal to Miami and replaced coach Phil Jackson with Rudy Tomjanovich. Derek Fisher left for Golden State and Vlade Divac, the Lakers' center from the early 1990s, returned.
Payton and Karl Malone took a large pay cut to join the Lakers as free agents last summer, each all-star hoping to win his first championship.
Despite struggling through his first year with the team, Payton, 36, exercised a $5.4 million option to come back for another season.
A nine-time all-star who averaged 18.3 points over his first 13 seasons, Payton averaged 14.6 points -- his lowest since the 1992-93 season -- and a career-low 4.2 assists in the regular season. He averaged 7.8 points and 5.3 assists in the playoffs.
Mihm, a 7-footer who will help Divac fill the gap left by O'Neal's departure, averaged 6.3 points and 5.4 rebounds. Atkins, who was acquired from the Pistons midway through last season, averaged 8.4 points.
-- From News Services