Sixers trade Coleman They acquired Corliss Williamson from Detroit, which also got Amal McCaskill.

Posted: August 05, 2004

The 76ers rotation just got nasty.

That's because yesterday the team traded Derrick Coleman and center Amal McCaskill to the Detroit Pistons for the "Big Nasty" Corliss Williamson and an undisclosed amount of cash.

"The trade is a significant trade because he's [Williamson] going to earn a lot of minutes for us, he gives us versatility, experience, physical and mental toughness and the ability to score," said Jim O'Brien, head coach of the Sixers, on a conference call yesterday. "I think we are a better basketball team now than when I took over."

Williamson, 30, is entering his 10th season in the NBA. He has a career average of 11.9 points and 4.1 rebounds. Last season with the world-champion Detroit Pistons, he came off the bench to average 9.5 points and 3.2 rebounds per game. In 2002, Williamson was named the NBA's sixth man of the year. He also is a career 49.2 percent field-goal shooter.

"We like that he has a high field-goal percentage," said Sixers general manager Billy King at yesterday's press conference in the Lexus room of the Wachovia Center. "He gives us low-post scoring and he knows how to score. He and Kenny [Thomas] should give us good low-post presence this year."

For Coleman, the trade ends his career with the Sixers, a team that he had two stints with - from 1995-98 and 2001-04, but it gives him an opportunity to play at home. He is a Detroit native.

He averaged 13.9 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 1.06 blocked shots in his six seasons in Philadelphia.

But last season, Coleman missed 48 games with the Sixers due to a left knee injury, a ring-finger fracture and knee tendinitis.

Coleman just completed his 14th NBA season and has a career average of 16.6 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 1.35 blocks per game.

McCaskill, also a part of the deal, was signed by the Sixers last year.

But ironically, the two key players in the deal - Coleman and Williamson - were suspended in December 1997 after throwing punches at each other in a game between the Sacramento Kings and the Sixers.

King said the trade for Williamson was a deal in the works for weeks. "After we traded Eric [Snow], I began speaking with Joe Dumars over a possible trade," King revealed. "The trade presented itself and I think, on paper, the roster is better right now. With the past couple of deals we have definitely gotten better."

Williamson's role with the team is yet to be determined. "Nothing is going to be easy in training camp this season," King said. "Guys are going to be fighting and competing for starting spots, which is a good thing. With a young player like Andre [Iguodala] and other athletic guys like Brian [Skinner], Samuel [Dalembert] and Kedrick [Brown], I think we have a great mix of talent."

"We feel like this is a good trade for our team and our organization as we move forward," said Dumars, Pistons president of basketball operations. "Corliss Williamson was a very special guy to have on the team for 3 1/2 seasons. We thank him for all of his efforts here on and off the court and we will miss him."

Williamson is scheduled to take a physical today. His contract is three years for $18 million.

Coleman had two years for $9.5 million left on his contract. If the Pistons want to release him after one season, they will owe him $2 million.

Contact staff writer Mark Lelinwalla at 215-854-2458 or mlelinwalla@phillynews.com.

The Coleman Trade

The 76ers traded forward Derrick Coleman and center Amal McCaskill to Detroit yesterday to obtain forward Corliss Williamson and an unspecified amount of cash.

76ers get:

Corliss Williamson

Height: 6-7

Weight: 245

Career averages: 11.9 points, 4.1 rebounds, 1.3 assists in 9 seasons.

Teams: Sacramento (1995-2000), Toronto (2000-01), and Detroit (2001-04).

Last season: Played in 79 games and averaged 9.5 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 0.7 assists He is scheduled to make $6 million next year.

Background: He was the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year in 2001-2002. The University of Arkansas product was drafted by the Sacramento Kings with the 13th overall selection in 1995.

76ers give up:

Derrick Coleman

Height: 6-foot-10

Weight: 270

Career averages: 16.6 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 1.35 blocks in 14 seasons

Last season: In 34 games, he averaged 8 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.4 assists.

Teams: New Jersey (1990-95), Sixers (1995-98; 2001-04), and Charlotte Hornets (1998-01).

Background: The No. 1 The first overall selection of the 1990 NBA Draft by the New Jersey Nets. Coleman has had an injury-plagued career, and missed 48 games last season due to injury. He averaged 13.9 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 1.06 blocked shots in his six seasons in Philadelphia. He was in the last year of a two-year contract that will pay him $5 million next season.

Amal McCaskill

Height: 6-foot-11

Weight: 235 pounds

Background: Signed as a free agent by the Sixers on July 16, 2003. The four-year NBA veteran averaged 1.9 points and 2.3 rebounds in 59 games last season. He was drafted in the second round with the 49th overall selection by Orlando in 1996, and has played for the Magic (1996-97), San Antonio (2001-02), Atlanta (2002-03), and Sixers (2003-04).

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