In this latest edition of New York Knicks Trade History, a look back at the deal that brought Marcus Camby to the Big Apple.
Among the trades the New York Knicks made in the 1990s, one of them brought one of the NBA’s top shot-blocking centers, Marcus Camby, to town. This upgraded the team’s big man depth for the 1998-99 season and beyond.
What were the circumstances of this deal, though?
What the Knicks traded
Oakley was a franchise mainstay for the previous decade, as he arrived in 1988 and helped pave the way for New York’s successful run through the ’90s. This was the main player next to Patrick Ewing and the rougher, tougher big man to grab rebounds and tussle with opponents.
Oakley was consistent on grabbing around double-digit rebounds per game and crossed 10 points six times. He showed enough offensively to have 14.6 points in the 1989-90 season.
Upon arrival to the Toronto Raptors, his numbers tailed off by two points and two rebounds per game. There was another slight drop-off in 1999-00, as well.
By 2000-01, Oakley returned to 9.6 points and 9.5 rebounds per game in starts. It happened at age 37, becoming one last standout run, before drifting into forgettable runs with the Chicago Bulls, Washington Wizards and Houston Rockets.
The other piece, Marks played just 13 games over two seasons with Toronto. He now torments the Knicks as the general manager of the Brooklyn Nets.
What the Knicks acquired
Camby was the only piece that came back to the Knicks, and, as noted, he became the heir apparent to Ewing.
The UMass product stayed in New York for four seasons, with the first two in a top reserve role, averaging 1.8 blocks in 23.7 minutes per game. He played 20 games in the 1999 playoffs and averaged 10.4 points, 7.7 rebounds and 1.9 blocks to contribute towards an NBA Finals appearance.
Once Ewing was traded to the Seattle SuperSonics, Camby became the starting center in 2000-01, averaging 12 points, 11.5 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game. The numbers were quality, but he was involved in on-court altercations, including accidentally headbutting head coach Jeff Van Gundy.
Camby played just 29 games in 2001-02 due to injury, despite having 11.1 points and 11.1 rebounds. That disappointing run led to his trade to the Denver Nuggets, with Nene and Mark Jackson, for a package centered on Antonio McDyess.
This trade had bumps along the way, but the New York Knicks found the best player in this deal who contributed to success in the late ’90s and early ’00s.