Sept. 12, 1973 -- The Buffalo Braves had something of a problem in 1973, and so did the Los Angeles Lakers. The Braves essentially had two good players who could play center. The Lakers had none.
Sounds like the start of a trade.
And so it was. The Braves had figured out that Bob McAdoo wasn't a small forward, but he was worth keeping. So they traded center Elmore Smith to the Lakers for small forward Jim McMillian.
Presto! The Braves added McMillian to the mix, which included rookie Ernie DiGregorio, and became a playoff team. Smith eventually was part of the package that brought Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in a trade with Milwaukee. So the trade eventually worked out well for everyone ... except Smith, who had knee trouble and never lived up to his potential.
For a review of the 1972-73 Braves season, click here.
--- Budd Bailey