Mavs send LaFrentz, first-round pick to Celtics
08:08 AM CDT on Monday, October 20, 2003
By EDDIE SEFKO / The Dallas Morning News
The Mavericks continued to reshape their roster early Monday when they acquired Antoine Walker and Tony Delk from the Boston Celtics, president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson said.
Headed to Boston are Raef LaFrentz and two players acquired in the off-season trade with Golden State, Jiri Welsch and Chris Mills. The Mavericks also included their 2004 first-round draft pick to sweeten the deal.
Walker is a strong-scoring forward who could create a logjam in the front court - unless another deal is in the works. He, Dirk Nowitzki and Antawn Jamison, not to mention Eduardo Najera, would be splitting up playing time at the two forward positions.
Delk will shore up the Mavericks at point guard. He’s been a part-time starter in the league for several years and will give the team an insurance policy since the only proven point guards on the team were starter Steve Nash and backup Travis Best.
The deal makes sense from a financial standpoint for the Mavericks, who have the third-highest payroll in the NBA. Walker has a maximum contract that ends after the 2004-05 season. He will earn $13.5 million this season and $14.625 million next season.
LaFrentz signed a seven-year, $69-million deal before last season. With Delk’s deal added in, the Mavericks will be relieving themselves of about $35 million in salary over the life of all the contracts.
The trade talks got hot on Sunday and the deal was finalized early Monday morning after the Mavericks returned to Dallas from a preseason game in San Antonio.
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