Walker to Miami from Boston highlights megadeal

MIAMI -- In the largest trade in NBA history, Antoine Walker
was dealt from Boston to Miami on Tuesday night in a transaction
involving five teams and 13 players.
The Heat also acquired point guard Jason Williams and small
forward James Posey from Memphis, while the Grizzlies received
guard Eddie Jones from the Heat. The New Orleans Hornets and Utah
Jazz were also involved in the deal.
The trade was larger than a 12-player, four-team deal in 2000
involving Patrick Ewing that had been the biggest in league
Miami also received Andre Emmett from Memphis and the draft
rights to Roberto Duenas of Spain from the Hornets; Utah received
Greg Ostertag from Memphis; Boston picked up Curtis Borchardt from
Utah and a package -- Qyntel Woods, the draft rights to Spanish
center Albert Miralles, two second-round draft picks and cash --
from Miami; New Orleans acquired Rasual Butler from Miami and Kirk
Snyder from Utah; and the Grizzlies received guard Raul Lopez from
the Jazz.
Hours after signing Shaquille O'Neal to a five-year deal, the
Heat added three significant pieces to a roster that nearly reached
the NBA Finals last season.
"We traded a lot, but we got back three quality players," said
Heat president Pat Riley. "Antoine Walker is one of the very best
multi-faceted, versatile players in this game. ... He is able to
handle the ball, pass it, make plays, shoot 3's and rebound the
ball. There isn't anyone in this league better at doing that."
Walker, a three-time All-Star, figures to become the starting
small forward and would be backed up by Posey, one of the league's
better defenders.
Walker signed a six-year deal worth nearly $53 million with
Boston as of the deal's preliminary framework, and agent Mark
Bartelstein said he appreciated the Celtics' willingness to help
out their longtime forward.
"Antoine is thrilled," Bartelstein said. "This was a grueling
process trying to put a sign-and-trade together. This took a lot of
time and work and energy from a lot of people."
Williams would take over as Miami's starting point guard if
Damon Jones leaves as a free agent.
Jones exits Miami after five years with the Heat.
"I spoke to him and he's appreciative of the five great years
he's had in Miami," agent Leon Rose said. "He's proud that he's
helped build something, although it's unfortunate that he won't be
able to see it to fruition. But he wishes the organization nothing
but the best."
Riley wished the three players leaving Miami well, especially
Jones, whom he called "the consummate professional through thick
and thin."
"I know he had fun and he was a major part of this," Riley
said. "But in order to get something good back, you have to give
up something good going out. I wish him nothing but the best."
Memphis acquired Borchardt earlier Tuesday in a deal in which
Sacramento got Bonzi Wells from the Grizzlies in exchange for guard
Bobby Jackson and Ostertag.
The Hornets did not give up any players under contract in the
megatrade, which was approved by league officials late Tuesday
"Our cap flexibility is what allowed us to get these two
players as part of this deal," Hornets general manager Allan
Bristow said. "We were able to acquire two young, quality players
while only giving up the rights to a player who has never appeared
in a Hornets uniform."
Walker, who averaged 19.1 points and nine rebounds last season
for Atlanta and Boston, will be a welcome addition to the Heat,
said forward Udonis Haslem -- who formally signed his $30.7 million,
five-year deal Tuesday.
"We're two different players and we can bring two different
things to the table," Haslem said, a few hours before the trade
got done. "If we put that together, we should have a pretty good
Miami reached Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals this past
season -- even though O'Neal and Dwyane Wade were both hurt at the
time. And not only was Jones a starter on that team, he was the
Heat's best perimeter defender -- a role that Heat president Pat
Riley and coach Stan Van Gundy have long valued.
Jones, a career 16.4-point-per-game scorer, averaged 12.7 in the
regular season and 13.7 in the playoffs as Miami's third option.
"Eddie Jones is an All-Star caliber player who has had a
terrific NBA career. He is a great 3-point shooter who will make an
immediate impact on our offense, while also serving as a solid
defender in the backcourt. We look forward to Eddie finishing his
NBA career in Memphis," Grizzlies president Jerry West said.
Williams averaged 10.1 points and 5.6 assists for the Grizzlies
last season. Riley likened his playmaking ability to Steve Nash and
Jason Kidd.
"He is a very athletic, quick, explosive scorer and has great
experience," Riley said. "One of the reasons why we are making
the trade is that we haven't had anyone here like that since Tim
Hardaway left."
Posey was limited to 50 games this past season because of
injuries, and only 18 starts. He averaged 8.1 points and 4.4
The trade capped a flurry of activity by the Heat -- who moved
quickly once the league's moratorium on player signings expired
Tuesday at noon ET.
O'Neal was signed to a $100 million contract; the move was
expected, although the contract was considerably smaller than what
O'Neal figured to command.
Haslem said the team has full confidence in whatever personnel
choices Riley and general manager Randy Pfund make.
"Since I've been here, they've made great decisions," Haslem
said. "And I'm sure they'll make the right decision here."