Rockets trade Ewing Jr. to Knicks for Weis' draft rights

NEW YORK -- Talk about pressure. Patrick Ewing Jr. is following in the footsteps of his famous father again.

The New York Knicks acquired the younger Ewing from the Houston Rockets on Friday in exchange for the draft rights to center Frederic Weis, one of the most widely panned picks in franchise history.

"Coming to the Knicks, and hopefully being able to contribute, means a lot to me," Ewing Jr. said in a statement. "It has always been my dream to play for this team. My goal is to show the coaches that I can play and do all that I can to help the team win some games."

Ewing was selected by Sacramento with the 43rd pick in this year's NBA draft and traded with Ron Artest to the Rockets on Aug. 14. Now, he's on to New York, where his father ruled the paint at Madison Square Garden for 15 of his 17 NBA seasons.

"I am very happy my son will follow in my footsteps," said Ewing, an assistant coach with the Orlando Magic. "Hopefully he will have a long and productive career in New York. I am proud of him and wish him nothing but success."

Ewing joined the Knicks as the No. 1 pick in the 1985 draft, and is the franchise's career leader in points, rebounds, and blocked shots, among other categories. He was voted one of the league's 50 greatest players, and will be inducted into basketball's Hall of Fame next week.

Ewing Jr. hasn't shied away from his father's legacy. He started his collegiate career at Indiana before transferring to Georgetown, where his father led the Hoyas to three Final Fours and the 1984 national championship.

The 24-year-old Ewing averaged 6.1 points and 4.2 rebounds last season, winning the Big East Sixth Man of the Year award.

Ewing isn't expected to be the impact player his father was, but he gives the Knicks a valuable public relations boost coming off last season's 23-59 record, matching the franchise record for losses. New York has posted seven straight losing seasons overall.

"Patrick Ewing will have an opportunity here to compete for a spot on our roster," Knicks president Donnie Walsh said. "He is a solid defensive player and a very good athlete."

Ewing would've been caught in a numbers game in Houston -- he was one of nine forwards on the roster after the Artest trade.

New York drafted Weis with the 15th overall pick in 1999, passing on Artest, Andrei Kirilenko and James Posey, among others. The 7-foot-2 center never joined the Knicks and is most known for being on the wrong end of an incredible Vince Carter dunk in the 2000 Olympics.

Weis, from France, won a silver medal in Sydney and is currently playing for a Spanish club.