Philly acquires Ollie (third stint), Brown

Updated: July 21, 2004, 11:37 PM ET
Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA -- With a big contract and without a starting spot, point guard Eric Snow became expendable in Philadelphia.

Snow likely will find himself in the same situation this year, only in Cleveland after he was traded by the 76ers to the Cavaliers on Tuesday for guards Kevin Ollie and Kedrick Brown.

Snow spent 6 seasons with the 76ers, averaging 9.7 points and 6.6 assists while helping them to the 2001 Eastern Conference championship.

"I'm excited and thankful," Snow said Tuesday night in an interview with The Associated Press. "I'm going to a team that wanted me, and wanted me to be the player I am. Cleveland is a nice, young team that is hoping to go to the playoffs, and hopefully I can come and help them accomplish that goal."

Philadelphia, though, was looking to save money, get blossoming second-year guard Willie Green into the starting lineup and shift Allen Iverson to point guard. Also, Philadelphia coach Jim O'Brien had little use for a true point guard in his up-tempo offense, which seemed ill-suited for Snow who thrives more with set plays.

"He wouldn't be happy," O'Brien said. "I don't see how anybody that is a competitor would be happy."

He'll try to find happiness in Cleveland, where he could again be looking at a reserve role.

The Cavaliers were shopping for a backup for Jeff McInnis, who quickly became a team leader and initiated the offense in his first season with the team. Coach Paul Silas said no one was taking McInnis' spot.

"It's Jeff's job. It's conceivable they can play together," Silas said. "Right now, Jeff is my man and I don't anticipate that changing at all."

Silas said he liked adding Snow's playoff experience to a maturing team that includes McInnis, LeBron James and Zydrunas Ilgauskas.

Snow had been on the trading block since the end of the season. At their season-ending meeting, team president Billy King and Snow agreed it was time for a change.

"I wouldn't say I expected to be gone, but I'm open-minded," Snow said. "I know this is a business, and I know the Sixers have a lot of perimeter players. During a meeting with Billy last season, I said that Allen's skills might be best used at point guard against zone defenses."

Snow, though, had agreed before last season to a four-year contract extension that runs through 2008-09. Had King not extended the contract, Snow could have opted out after last season. King said he feared Snow would sign elsewhere and leave the Sixers without a true starting guard.

That was before Green emerged and impressed the Sixers when he played most of the second half of the season for an injured Iverson.

Snow, a Canton, Ohio native, is happy to return home.

"I was a Cavs, Browns and Indians fan growing up," Snow said.

This will be Ollie's third stint with Philadelphia. He has played for 10 NBA teams and was in Philadelphia during 1999-2000 and 2000-01 when the Sixers advanced to the NBA Finals.

Ollie has averaged 4.4 points, 1.8 rebounds and 2.7 assists in his seven-year NBA career. With the 76ers, he averaged 2.9 points, 1.1 rebounds, and 1.8 assists in 91 games.

Ollie is signed to one less season than Snow in a deal worth about $17 million total less than Snow.

Silas said the Snow deal makes him uncertain about how backup guard Dajuan Wagner, who has battled injuries, will factor into the lineup.

The 6-foot-7 Brown was a first-round pick (11th overall) by Boston in the 2001 draft and was traded to the Cavaliers in 2003. He's averaged 3.7 points and 2.5 rebounds in his career.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press