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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Heat Trades Half Roster at Deadline


MIAMI -- Pat Riley, who appears headed for his first-ever losing season, has shaken up the Miami Heat with a series of blockbuster deals aimed at making a run at the final playoff spot in the National Basketball Association's Eastern Conference.

The Heat dealt nearly half of its active roster Thursday in three separate deals with the Golden State Warriors, Sacramento Kings, and Phoenix Suns.

Miami acquired disgruntled point guard Tim Hardaway and forward Chris Gatling from the Warriors for forward/center Kevin Willis and guard Bimbo Coles.

The Heat then shipped rookie guard Terrence Rencher to Phoenix for guard Tony Smith, a five-year veteran from Marquette.

In their final move, the Heat sent multi-talented swingman Billy Owens and along with swingman Kevin Gamble to Sacramento for swingman Walt Williams and forward Tyrone Corbin.

The biggest name to move outside of Miami's deals was Christian Laettner, on one of the busier NBA trading deadline days in recent years.

Six deals involving 19 players were completed.

The Atlanta Hawks acquired Laettner from the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Toronto Raptors picked up Sharone Wright from Philadelphia.

The biggest non-trade involved the Portland Trail Blazers, who failed to deal disgruntled guard Rod Strickland or forward Clifford Robinson. Strickland was suspended for one game by the Trail Blazers after he stormed off the court during warmups Thursday night.

"Today obviously was a day that I felt was coming all along if we had the opportunity to improve the position of this team,'' Miami coach Riley said. "It was a very difficult day for me personally.''

Unlike the Heat, which made all its deals within two hours of the 9 p.m. Eastern cutoff, the Hawks and Timberwolves beat the deadline by several hours. Atlanta picked up centers Laettner and Sean Rooks for center Andrew Lang and point guard Spud Webb.

Kevin McHale, Minnesota's vice president of basketball operations, said he was hoping to improve the team's chemistry.

"Everybody's got to understand there are roles that need to be played in the context of the team,'' McHale said. "If people don't accept that or don't understand that, it ends up being (conflict) all the time.''

The 76ers sent Wright to the Raptors for forwards Ed Pinckney and Tony Massenburg. The Sixers also acquired the right to swap first-round draft picks with Toronto this year or in 1997.

The Orlando Magic acquired Kenny Gattison and a second-round draft pick from the Vancouver Grizzlies for Jeff Turner.

The Grizzlies had three second-round picks in the 1996 draft, having earlier obtained selections from Washington and the New York Knicks. Orlando will get the worst of the three.


The Washington Bullets will have a new name -- the Washington Wizards.

The nickname takes effect when the NBA team moves to its new arena in downtown Washington for the 1997-98 season.

Team owner Abe Pollin said he decided on the change because of the violent connotation of the team's name and Washington's high murder rate. Other names considered were the Sea Dogs, the Express, the Dragons and the Stallions. ()

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