In the first edition of New York Knicks Trade History, a look at the deal that sent Patrick Ewing out of the Big Apple for the first time in his NBA career.
For better or worse, trades have often represented the New York Knicks. Their draft success is quieter and inconsistent, and, especially over the past 20 years, they have focused on working with other teams to improve their roster.
One trade that brought change, in 2000, the Knicks sent away Patrick Ewing, their face of the franchise for the previous 15 years.
Ewing, who was age 37 at the time and near the end of his career, left in a four-team trade that involved the Seattle SuperSonics, Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns. As Newsday noted at the time, the player who had his No. 33 jersey number retired in 2003 wanted a change.
How did this trade work out for the Knicks? Was their return package for Ewing acceptable?
What the Knicks traded
The full trade outlook is large, but the Knicks traded Ewing to the SuperSonics and Chris Dudley and a 2001 first-round pick to the Suns.
Ewing played 79 of 82 games with Seattle, but his numbers tailed off from the 15 points and 9.7 rebounds averaged in the 1999-00 season to 9.6 points and 7.4 rebounds. No playoff run resulted from this, either, making this a disappointing one-and-done for the Sonics, who watched him leave for the Orlando Magic in the 2001 offseason.
Dudley, the same one who pegged a basketball at Shaquille O’Neal, lasted just 53 games with Phoenix, averaging 11.6 minutes per contest. He played 46 games over the next two seasons with Portland and fell out of the NBA at age 37.
The first-round pick became Jason Collins, who started on the New Jersey Nets teams that made the NBA Finals in the early 2000s. However, he fell into a veteran backup role for most of his career.
What the Knicks acquired
Ewing may have neared the end of the road, but the Knicks struggled to recoup meaningful value from this trade.
Travis Knight, Glen Rice, and a 2001 first-round pick, which became Jamaal Tinsley, arrived from the Lakers. Rice averaged 12 points in his only season with the Knicks, but it was down by nearly four points from his 1999-00 total. He struggled for the next three years at two destinations and left the NBA at age 36.
Knight actually spent three seasons with the Knicks, but as nothing more than an end-of-the-bench piece.
The first-round pick moved around, and Tinsley landed with the Indiana Pacers. He spent 11 years in the NBA.
Years after playing his best basketball on those title-winning Chicago Bulls teams, Longley joined from Phoenix. He played just 25 games for New York and left the NBA at age 32.
The Sonics’ package featured two draft picks, but neither developed into relevant, long-term pieces. The first-round pick became Kareem Rush, who played 346 games as a role player in the NBA, but none of it happened in New York. Lazaro Borrell, Vernon Maxwell and Vladimir Stepania all never played for the Knicks, either.
The 2000 Ewing trade benefited nobody. It was a wash for all the pieces that moved and either never played for their new team or struggled mightily. This was among the questionable results the New York Knicks had in transactions, in this decade.