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Sixers unload Coleman on Detroit

DETROIT -- The Detroit Pistons acquired Derrick Coleman and
Amal McCaskill from the Philadelphia 76ers in a trade Wednesday for
Corliss Williamson.

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.

With Williamson gone, rookie Carlos Delfino and free agent
Ronald Dupree will have more of an opportunity to play at small
forward behind Tayshaun Prince.

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.