Today in Celtics history: the Brown/Billups/Anderson trade

Today, February 18th is the 19th anniversary of the trade that sent former Boston Celtics guards Dee Brown and Chauncey Billups to the Toronto Raptors.

The deal, often included among the worst the club has made, sent these two plus Roy Rogers and John Thomas to Toronto in exchange for Kenny Anderson, Popeye Jones and Zan Tabak. Anderson hadn't even been with the team for a week, having been traded to the Raptors for Damon Stoudamire. According to the New York Time's Mike Wise, only Dee Brown seemed happy about the deal:

"I'm very excited to be going to Toronto ... People make it sound like such a bad situation, but they're a young team and I look forward to the challenge of helping the Raptors."

Indeed, Brown would have something of a revival in Toronto, returning to double-digit scoring after falling to 6.8 points per game his last season in Boston, and would see his assist total more than double to 3.3 per game by the end of that season. Billups, the Celtics' #3 pick in the 1997 NBA Draft, would go on to have a nearly two-decade career with numerous All-Star bids and an NBA Championship with the Detroit Pistons in 2004, and while Anderson's tenure in green - five seasons - was by no means unproductive, Jones and Tabak would only play a total of 36 games combined for Boston. Not exactly the return you'd hope for from such a high pick and an established player/borderline starter (at that time).

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Photo via AP Photo/Paul Sancya
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