It took 3 1/2 weeks for Stanley Roberts to make up his mind. When he finally did, the makeup of the New York Knicks and the Los Angeles Clippers changed dramatically.
Roberts agreed Tuesday to waive a no-trade clause in his contract, allowing the Orlando Magic to move him in a three-team trade.Roberts, a 7-foot center, went to the Clippers along with point guard Mark Jackson. Forward Charles Smith and guards Glenn "Doc" Rivers and Bo Kimble went to the Knicks, and Orlando got two first-round draft picks. The Clippers also got a 1995 second-round pick from the Knicks.
The teams agreed on the trade in August, but Roberts' refusal to waive the no-trade clause in his five-year, $14.4 million deal held it up. He changed his mind Tuesday after reflecting on a weekend trip to Los Angeles where he met with Clippers coach Larry Brown, general manager Elgin Baylor and owner Donald Sterling.
The acquisition of Smith filled the Knicks' need for another forward. They lost Xavier McDaniel when he signed with the Boston Celtics as a free agent, and backup small forward Kiki Vandeweghe was released after last season.
The Knicks strengthened their bench by picking up Tony Campbell from the Minnesota Timberwolves last week, and now boast a starting front line of Patrick Ewing, Smith and Charles Oakley.
"We feel comfortable with our club right now. Up front we have five very solid players," said Knicks general manager Ernie Grunfeld.
For the Magic, the desire to continue building through the draft was the reason for the trade. Orlando chose first in the summer draft and took Shaquille O'Neal. They still have 19.9-point scorers Dennis Scott and Nick Anderson from the 1989 and 1990 drafts. Roberts was the No. 1 pick in 1991.
The Magic get New York's first-round draft choice in 1993 and the worst of LA's two No. 1 selections in either 1993 or 1994.
Roberts, 22, said he has no hard feelings toward the Magic.
"I felt like I had a pretty good season last year in Orlando, but now it's time to move on, build on that, and look forward to my future with a solid young franchise."
To get Smith, the Knicks had to give up Jackson, a New York native who played college ball locally at St. John's and earned Rookie of the Year honors in the 1987-88 season.
Taking Jackson's place at the point will be Rivers, 31, a nine-year veteran. Rivers averaged almost 13 points and 6.6 assists in eight years with the Atlanta Hawks and one with the Clippers.
Jackson, 27, recovered from a horrible 1990-91 season to score 11.3 points and average 8.6 assists last year.
"I'm very excited to have this opportunity to come to the Clippers. It's a young talented bunch that's headed in the right direction," Jackson said.
The Clippers, under Brown, made the NBA playoffs for the first time in 16 seasons last year.
In Smith, the Knicks get a 6-10 player who can be used at either forward or center. He averaged 14.6 points and 6.1 rebounds last season.
"I can play the 3, backup Patrick (Ewing) at center, play power forward - it doesn't really matter to me," Smith said.
Kimble, entering his third year in the league, could have a tough time making the Knicks, who already have Rolando Blackman, John Starks and rookie Hubert Davis at the off-guard spot.