In a trade of centers who never reached the expectations created by their position in the draft, the New Jersey Nets sent Sam Bowie and a second-round draft pick to the Los Angeles Lakers for Benoit Benjamin.
"We had to depend so much on Derrick Coleman scoring in the paint for us," Nets general manager Willis Reed said as he announced Monday's trade. "Now we have another guy who can help us scoring there.'Reed, who coached Benjamin at Creighton, said he is a physical, low-post threat who is four years younger than Bowie and could benefit from a "change of scenery." He said he expects Benjamin can average in double figures in scoring and rebounding.
"We have just acquired one of the more physical centers in the league," Reed said.
Benjamin's career averages are 29.1 minutes, 12.5 points, 8 rebounds and 2.4 blocks.
Bowie, 32, averaged 9.1 points per game last season and seven rebounds in 79 games, including 65 in which he started. He has a career average of 12 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game.
"Obviously, in our business these things occur," Bowie said. "I'll miss my teammates.
"I'm excited I'm going to an organization with a first-class commitment to winning," he added.