Sixers trade Steven Hunter to Hornets, sign Zendon Hamilton
Philadelphia 76ers President Billy King announced today that the Sixers have traded center/forward Steven Hunter to the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets in exchange for two second round picks in the 2006 and 2007 NBA Drafts. With the transaction, the Sixers roster currently stands at 14 players.
Signed by the Sixers as a free agent on Aug. 12, 2005, Hunter played in 38 games this season averaging 4.9 points, 3.5 rebounds and 0.95 blocks in 17.7 minutes per game. He started the first 13 games of the season at center for Philadelphia, shooting 51.4 percent (73-142 FG) from the field, and 60.9 percent (42-69 FT) from the free-throw line in that span. Hunter recorded double-doubles in consecutive games, 11/21 vs. NOK and 11/23 at MIL. His 12 rebounds on11/ 21 vs. the Hornets were a career-high.
In four-plus NBA seasons, the 7-footer has averaged 4.0 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.10 blocks in 13.4 minutes per game in 259 career games with three teams - Orlando (2001-04), Phoenix (2004-05) and Philadelphia (2005-06).
Hunter was originally selected in the first round (15th overall pick) of the 2001 NBA Draft by Orlando after his sophomore season at DePaul. In two seasons of collegiate basketball, Hunter averaged 9.9 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.03 blocks in 63 games.
76ers President Billy King also announced today that the team has signed center Zendon Hamilton to a 10-day contract. With the transaction, the Sixers roster now stands at 14 players.
A 6-foot-11, 254-pound center, Hamilton returns to Philadelphia for his second stint with the Sixers after playing in 45 games for the team during the 2003-04 season. He began the 2005-06 season with the Cleveland Cavaliers, where he appeared in 11 games averaging 2.3 points and 1.0 rebound in 4.2 minutes per game. This is the third 10-day contract for Hamilton this season, who signed his first on Jan. 10 after being waived by Cleveland on Jan. 5. He signed his second with the Cavaliers on Jan. 20. Hamilton will wear No. 31 for the Sixers.
Including Cleveland, Hamilton has played for seven different teams during his six-year NBA career, (LA Clippers 2000-01, Denver 2001-02, Toronto 2002-03, Philadelphia 2003-04, Milwaukee 2004-05 and Houston 2004-05). He has career averages of 4.4 points and 3.5 rebounds in 11.7 minutes per game in 133 games (15 starts).
InsideHoops.com Editor Says: The Sixers haven't been thrilled about the team's play this season, and they don't feel Steven Hunter is going to develop into a particularly strong building block, so they're increasing their focus on the future. Just a little. I hear the Sixers may make another minor deal soon. As for the Hornets, they correctly feel that Hunter is better than anyone they'll get in the second round. The trade is fine for both teams.