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Sonics Trade Gill To Get Hawkins Hornets Throw In Veteran Wingate In Deal That Gives Seattle Outside Shot

Associated Press

The Seattle SuperSonics solved a personality conflict and addressed their lack of outside shooting by trading Kendall Gill back to the Charlotte Hornets.

In exchange for the problematic Gill, Seattle on Tuesday acquired shooting guard Hersey Hawkins and well-traveled journeyman swingman David Wingate.

Gill, 27, who played three seasons with the Hornets before coming to Seattle in 1993, made no secret about his longstanding feud with Sonics coach George Karl over a lack of playing time.

Karl said the trade was the best option in a bad situation.

“My relationship with Kendall had sharp edges to it,” Karl told a news conference. “I think this was the best for both of us. We’ve now exchanged a couple of difficult years, but I still respect him as a player. I think he’s a very talented player and I wish him the best in Charlotte.”

When the Sonics announced they would keep Karl although the team fizzled in the first round of the NBA playoffs two years running, Gill told reporters he wanted out.

Gill averaged 14.1 points in his first season with Seattle in 1993-94. His average slipped to 13.7 points this past season, when he was limited to 73 games because of a bruised kidney and treatment for clinical depression.

Gill played three seasons with the Hornets, averaging 20.5 points in 1991-92, before expressing dissatisfaction there and asking for a chance to play elsewhere. His public wish to leave made him the target of acrimony from a large number of fans.

Hornets coach Allan Bristow said that despite the unpleasant conditions under which Gill left, the Hornets were convinced his second stint would be better.

By acquiring the 6-3 Hawkins, Seattle gains an outside threat who averaged 14.3 points and 3.2 assists this season, both third best on the team. Hawkins, 28, did not miss a start in two seasons with the Hornets.

“(Hawkins) is one of the best shooters in the sport,” said Wally Walker, Sonics team president and general manager. “We think we really upgraded our shooting.”

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