Sixers get Kenny Thomas, trade Bryant and Long

Posted: December 19, 2002

Notice how short the 76ers' bench was last night?

At halftime of their home game against Minnesota, the Sixers announced that they had traded forwards Mark Bryant and Art Long plus a future first-round draft pick to Denver, and acquired forward Kenny Thomas from Houston.

To complete the deal, the Nuggets sent James Posey to Houston and received a future second-round pick from the Rockets.

The Sixers gave up relatively little for a player who has started 14 of the Rockets' 20 games this season, averaging 9.9 points, 6.9 rebounds and 29.3 minutes. Long was averaging just 2.1 points and 2.1 rebounds in 6.9 minutes per game, while Bryant had seen action in just 11 games, averaging 1.1 points and 7.0 minutes.

Sixers general manager Billy King said that he and coach Larry Brown had coveted Thomas, the No. 22 pick in the 1999 draft out of New Mexico, for at least two years. At 6-foot-7 and 245 pounds, Thomas can play either forward position, and he fits in nicely with the Sixers' approach to defense and scoring in transition.

"He can play the three, the four, and he can score," King said. "He fits in with how we want to play, and just watching our team, we felt we needed to have that."

The deal leaves the Sixers with one open roster spot.

Thomas is expected to arrive in Philadelphia later today and likely will play tomorrow night when the Sixers host the struggling Los Angeles Lakers.

"Monty [Williams], when he's healthy, he's really our only true three," King said. "Kenny can play some three, and now with Monty's injury, it helps Monty recover at a slower pace and not rush back. And it helps Aaron McKie, because now maybe Aaron doesn't play as much three as he has been."

A Lott more. Had enough of Trent Lott? Here's a little more.

Speaking about the NBA's decision to award an expansion franchise in Charlotte, N.C., to Robert Johnson, founder and chief executive officer of Black Entertainment Television, Brown said he was pleased with the decision.

Yes, it meant Larry Bird, who was part of a group vying for a Charlotte franchise, was out of the picture, but . . .

"I'd love to see Larry Bird involved in the NBA in some way," Brown said. "Any time I see him, or Magic [Johnson] or Michael [Jordan], I know that they helped all of us, their contribution to our league. But I'm happy that we have a minority group owning a major sports franchise in our country, especially with what went on these last couple of weeks. I think it's a tremendous thing."

Brown, of course, was referring to Lott, the Senate Republican leader, who apologized this week for racially offensive remarks made Dec. 5.

1,000th pick. With about three minutes to go in the first quarter last night, Allen Iverson stole the ball from Minnesota's Troy Hudson. It was the 1,000th theft of his career.

Entering last night's game, Iverson ranked second in the league, averaging 2.64 steals. He had two in the first quarter last night to go with his 15 points on 5-of-7 shooting. The Sixers led, 29-20, after the first.

Let it rest. Yes, the questions were still coming last night about Iverson's green-and-white postgame attire Monday night. It seems fans did not appreciate Iverson's wearing a vintage Bill Russell Boston Celtics jersey.

"I know Allen, and there's no malice in that," Brown said. "You look at some of the stuff he wears. He wears game jerseys and all sorts of different jerseys and hats. That's like my son. He loves the Sixers, but he wears a Vince Carter jersey.

"All I know is I've known Allen long enough that he's not going to try to embarrass this franchise or this city."

Still, asked whether he would ever wear a Duke jersey, the North Carolina graduate said: "Never. Absolutely not. But I wear ties and jackets. I've worn a blue tie."

Contact staff writer Ashley McGeachy Fox at 215-854-5064 or amcgeachy@phillynews.com.

Trade Statistics

To 76ers

Kenny Thomas

Year, Team G FG% FT% RPG BPG PPG

1999-00, Houston 72 39.9 66.0 6.0 0.3 8.3

2000-01, Houston 74 44.3 72.2 5.6 0.6 7.1

2001-02, Houston 72 47.8 66.4 7.2 0.9 14.1

2002-03, Houston 20 43.2 73.3 6.9 0.3 9.8

Totals 238 44.5 67.7 6.3 0.6 9.8

To Denver

Mark Bryant

1988-89, Portland 56 48.6 58.0 3.2 0.1 5.0

1989-90, Portland 58 45.8 56.0 2.5 0.2 2.9

1990-91, Portland 53 48.8 73.3 3.6 0.2 5.1

1991-92, Portland 56 48.0 66.7 3.6 0.1 4.1

1992-93, Portland 80 50.3 70.3 4.0 0.3 6.0

1993-94, Portland 79 48.2 69.2 4.0 0.4 5.6

1994-95, Portland 49 52.6 65.1 3.3 0.3 5.0

1995-96, Houston 71 54.3 71.8 4.9 0.3 8.6

1996-97, Phoenix 41 55.3 70.4 5.1 0.1 9.3

1997-98, Phoenix 70 48.4 76.8 3.5 0.2 4.2

1998-99, Chicago 45 48.3 64.5 5.1 0.4 9.0

1999-00, Cleveland 75 50.3 80.9 4.7 0.4 5.7

2000-01, Dallas 18 40.0 60.0 1.1 0.1 1.1

2001-02, San Antonio 30 45.5 75.0 1.4 0.1 1.9

2002-03, 76ERS 11 29.4 1.000 1.4 0.1 1.1

Totals 792 50.0 69.8 3.8 0.2 5.4

Art Long

2000-01, Sacramento 9 00.0 00.0 0.9 0.3 0.0

2001-02, Seattle 63 49.2 52.9 4.0 0.4 4.5

2002-03, 76ERS 19 38.0 20.0 2.1 0.4 2.1

Totals 91 46.6 50.0 3.2 0.4 3.6

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