Bulls acquire F-C Brown, G Smith from Hornets for C Chandler

Updated: July 14, 2006, 5:40 PM ET
SportsTicker

CHICAGO - The Chicago Bulls finalized a deal with the New Orleans Hornets on Friday, acquiring forward-center P.J. Brown and guard J.R. Smith for center Tyson Chandler.

The deal between two of the most active clubs in the offseason originally was reported July 5.

Since July 1, the Bulls have made the biggest free agent signing, prying All-Star center Ben Wallace away from the rival Detroit Pistons. The Hornets also have been active, landing forward Peja Stojakovic and guard Bobby Jackson.

Both teams had solid drafts as well. The Bulls landed LSU forward Tyrus Thomas and Swedish swingman Thabo Sefolosha and the Hornets selected Connecticut center Hilton Armstrong, North Carolina State forward Cedric Simmons and Brazilian forward Marcus Vinicius.

The activity by the Hornets and owner George Shinn is very surprising. When the team was in Charlotte, it was known as one of the most frugal outfits in the NBA and went years without re-signing any of its own free agents.

For the Bulls, the signing of Wallace to a four-year, $60 million deal made Chandler expendable. He has five years and $54 million remaining on his contract and is a shot-blocker and rebounder without much of an offensive repertoire.

With the Hornets, the 7-1 Chandler joins a frontcourt that could use a defensive presence alongside forward David West and forward-center Marc Jackson, both of whom are offensive-minded. Chandler, 23, averaged 5.3 points, 9.0 rebounds and 1.32 blocks in 79 games last season, his fifth in the NBA.

The 6-10 Brown joins the durable Wallace, the athletic Thomas and wide-body Mike Sweetney on Chicago's front line. He is an outstanding locker-room presence and has just one year remaining on his contract, giving the Bulls future flexibility.

"We really welcome the veteran leadership that P.J. will bring to our team," Bulls executive vice president of basketball operations John Paxson said. "He brings a consistent game at both ends of the floor and we will be counting on his production in helping us improve as a team.

Brown turns 37 in October. While playing out of position at center, he averaged 9.0 points and 7.3 rebounds in 75 games last season, his 13th in the NBA.

In 999 games with New Jersey, Miami and the Charlotte/New Orleans franchise, Brown has averaged 9.4 points and 8.0 rebounds. He has missed just 35 games in his career.

A change of scenery might help Smith, who fell out of favor with Hornets coach Byron Scott due to a poor work ethic. The 20-year-old began the season as the starting shooting guard and ended it out of the rotation.

The 6-6 Smith averaged 7.7 points while shooting less than 40 percent from the field last season, his second in the NBA. He will have to work hard to impress Bulls coach Scott Skiles.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index