The Jazz found a way to lose both Kelly Tripucka and Rickey Green to the Charlotte Hornets in
Thursday's NBA expansion draft.Charlotte took Green with the No. 10 choice overall and, having drafted Chicago center Mike Brown, traded him to the Jazz for Tripucka.
"We had to move those two players," Coach Frank Layden said. "I think it was good for them and good for us at this stage."
Former Jazz guard Dell Curry of Cleveland, meanwhile, was Charlotte's first choice. Miami took former Bingham High/BYU/Jazz forward Fred Roberts and traded him to Milwaukee for a second-round pick in next week's NBA draft.
Green, 33, is the Jazz's all-time leader in games played. He became expendable this season when John Stockton took over the starting point guard job and was frustrated in his limited reserve role. In Charlotte, he'll compete with several other point guards taken by the Hornets - including Washington's Muggsy Bogues and Portland's Michael Holton.
Tripucka, 29, came to the Jazz from Detroit in the famous August 1986 trade for Adrian Dantley. He spent much of two seasons in Utah on the bench, although he was actually the starting small forward the first year. A two-time All-Star, he never found a comfortable role with the Jazz, who moved him to off guard. "Tripucka just never got untracked," noted Layden. "I don't know. I never could completely understand what happened and why."
The 6-foot-10, 260-pound Brown was drafted by Chicago out of George Washington University in the third round in 1985 and spent his first pro season in Italy before joining the Bulls. He played in 62 games for the Bulls and averaged 4.2 points as a rookie and this season appeared in 46 games, starting 27 as he shared the position with Dave Corzine after Artis Gilmore left.
Brown averaged 4.3 points and 3.5 rebounds in 12.8 minutes a game this season. "We just know he played well against us," Layden said. "He's a big, strong guy and he can play two positions."
In the pre-arranged trade, Charlotte gave the Jazz the choice of three players they intended to take, and the Jazz went with Brown. The addition of Brown gives the Jazz an extra backup to center Mark Eaton; he'll compete with Mel Turpin, who might be closer to being traded as a result of this move.
At point guard, the Jazz have only Eddie Hughes and his 11 games of NBA experience behind Stockton. "We're void of a point guard," said Layden. "We'll have to get one somehow, somewhere." But Layden says the Jazz will not necessarily draft a point guard Tuesday.