Sixers unload Coleman on Detroit
Essentially, Philadelphia got rid of a player it didn't want, and NBA champion Detroit picked up considerable salary-cap space for the future.
"We feel like this is a good trade for our team and our organization as we move forward," said Joe Dumars, Pistons president of basketball operations. "Corliss Williamson was a very special guy to have on the team for 3½ seasons. We thank him for all of his efforts here on and off the court and we will miss him."
The 76ers made it clear they wanted to deal Coleman, who has two years and $9.5 million on his contract. If the Pistons want to release him after one season, they will owe him $2 million.
By moving Williamson, with $18 million and three guaranteed years left on his deal, the Pistons will have more money to make moves in a year or two. McCaskill was a free agent, who signed a new contract before being traded.
Even though Coleman was vilified by Sixers fans and former team president Pat Croce, he became a favorite of Larry Brown, who now coaches the Pistons.
The 37-year-old Coleman played in just 34 games last season while he struggled to stay healthy. The 6-foot-10 center averaged 8.0 points and 5.6 rebounds.
In 14 years, the Detroit native has averaged 16.8 points and 9.3 rebounds, but has scored in double figures in just one of the past four seasons. Coleman is expected to provide depth behind Ben and Rasheed Wallace. McCaskill might have to compete to even be on Detroit's roster when the season starts in November.
Williamson, entering his 10th season, was a solid reserve for the Pistons. The 6-7, 245-pounder averaged 9.5 points and 3.2 rebounds while playing both forward positions. He was the NBA Sixth Man of the Year two seasons ago.
Williamson could play a significant role in Philadelphia, where his knack for scoring will help Allen Iverson when he is double-teamed.
Sixers GM Billy King praised Williamson's physical toughness and interior scoring ability.
"He's somebody you can put down on the block and he can score," King said. "That's something we really have not had in a while."
Last season, Williamson shot better than 50 percent and appeared in 79 games -- 31 more than Coleman.
The trade continues the Sixers' reorganization of their roster under new coach Jim O'Brien, hired in April after a disappointing 33-49 season following Brown's departure for Detroit. Brown was replaced by Randy Ayers, fired 52 games into the season and replaced on an interim basis by Chris Ford.
The Sixers traded point guard Eric Snow to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Kevin Ollie and Kendrick Brown, drafted athletic Andre Iguodala and will make promising second-year guard Willie Green a starter in an effort to build a more up-tempo roster.
If McCaskill makes the Pistons, he will be on his fifth team in five years. In 59 games last season, the 6-11 center averaged just 1.9 points and 2.3 rebounds.
Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press
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