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Saturday, February 16, 1991 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Ellis Exits In Trade With Bucks -- Ricky Pierce Newest Sonic In Swap Of Unhappy Guards

In a trade involving two unhappy shooting guards, the Seattle SuperSonics shipped Dale Ellis to the Milwaukee Bucks for Ricky Pierce last night.

While Pierce staged a one-day boycott of a Bucks practice Wednesday because of a lack of progress with renegotiating his contract, Ellis was displeased with his role in Seattle Coach K.C. Jones' offense.

A heart-to-heart talk between Jones and Ellis following Seattle's 114-111 loss to Boston at the Coliseum Tuesday may have sealed Ellis' fate as a Sonic.

``We had some words on the court, and we talked about it in my office before I went out to speak to the press (Tuesday),'' said Jones, from his hotel room in Atlanta, where the Sonics will play the Hawks tonight.

``It was a great conversation. He told me our system was not to his liking, and he said it in a very nice way. He's more attuned to firing it up from the outside.

``This is a good deal for the Sonics and for Dale. He's going to a playoff team - a team that's looking for someone who can shoot from outside.''

The trade was Seattle's second major deal of the season and beat the NBA's Feb. 21 trading deadline by less than a week. In December, Seattle sent Xavier McDaniel to Phoenix for Eddie Johnson and two future first-round draft selections.

Milwaukee Coach Del Harris said the Bucks have investigated Ellis, who has had numerous off-the-court problems, and are not worried.

``If they eliminated all the players and coaches in this league who've had problems, it would be a small league,'' he said. ``We've done enough investigating of Dale not to be worried.''

Jones said he has not decided if Pierce, who twice has won the NBA's sixth-man-of-the-year award, will move into Seattle's starting lineup.

``Ricky was the guy we wanted,'' Jones said. ``He can score from the outside and take it to the basket.''

Pierce who was in Charlotte last night, won't join his new club until Monday, when Seattle plays the Pistons in Detroit.

Pierce's contract calls for him to be paid $1 million this season and $1.1 million the next. He was displeased the Bucks were taking so long to rewrite his contract, especially since they already had renegotiated with three other players earlier this season.

Pierce said he turned down a two-year contract extension offer recently that would have paid him $2 million a season. He called the transaction sending him to the Sonics ``a big relief.''

``Evidently, I didn't figure in their plans and they didn't want to give me my value,'' he said. ``They initiated it (renegotiations), then gave us the cold shoulder.''

As sixth man with the Bucks, Pierce is the only scorer among the NBA's top 20 who averages less than 30 minutes a game.

He said he could not understand why the Bucks no longer wanted him.

``I came out every night and did my job,'' Pierce said. ``I did it so well I was chosen to play in the All-Star Game, but it's good to feel wanted and appreciated (by Seattle).''

Sonic President Bob Whitsitt, who also was in Atlanta last night, said he does not know any details of Pierce's contract talks with the Bucks, but doesn't expect money to be a problem.

Whitsitt said the Sonics aren't looking to make any more deals soon.

``I don't want people to get excited just because there is a trade deadline coming,'' he said. ``The deadline doesn't do a whole lot for us. We don't want to make a move just to make a move.''

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RICKY PIERCE / AT A GLANCE

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Ht: 6 feet 4. Wt: 222 pounds.

Colleges: Walla Walla CC, Rice.

Age: 31. Hometown: Dallas.

Draft: First round (18th pick), 1982 by Pistons.

NBA highlights: Traded by Pistons to Clippers Oct. 17, 1983. Traded by Clippers to Bucks for Marques Johnson, two other players and cash, Sept. 29, 1984. Scored career-high 23.0 last season. Twice won NBA sixth man award. All-Star 1991.

-- Career statistics (regular season only)

Year Team G FGP Reb Ast Avg

82-83 Detroit 39 .375 0.9 0.4 2.2 ;

83-84 San Diego 69 .470 2.0 0.9 9.9 ;

84-85 Milwaukee 44 .537 2.7 2.1 9.8 ;

85-86 Milwaukee 81 .538 2.9 2.2 13.9 ;

88-87 Milwaukee 79 .534 3.4 1.8 19.5 ;

87-88 Milwaukee 37 .510 2.2 2.0 16.4 ;

88-89 Milwaukee 75 .518 2.6 2.1 17.6 ;

89-90 Milwaukee 59 .510 2.8 2.3 23.0 ;

90-91 Milwaukee 46 .499 2.5 2.1 22.5 ;

Career 529 .515 2.5 1.9 15.5 ;

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DALE ELLIS / AT A GLANCE

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Ht: 6 feet 7. Wt: 215.

College: Tennessee.

Age: 30. Hometown: Marietta, Ga.

Draft: First round (ninth pick), 1983 by Mavericks.

NBA highlights: Traded by Mavericks to Sonics for Al Wood July 23, 1986. NBA's most improved player 1987. NBA All-Star 1989, when he averaged a career-high 27.5 points. Averaged 15.0 points this season in reduced role after coming off foot injury.

-- Career statistics (regular season only)

Year Team G FGP Reb Ast Avg

83-84 Dallas 67 .456 3.7 0.8 8.2 ;

84-85 Dallas 72 .454 3.3 0.8 9.3 ;

85-86 Dallas 72 .411 2.3 0.5 7.1 ;

86-87 Seattle 82 .516 5.5 3.0 24.9 ;

87-88 Seattle 75 .503 4.5 2.6 25.8 ;

88-89 Seattle 82 .501 4.2 2.0 26.5 ;

89-90 Seattle 55 .497 4.4 2.0 23.5 ;

90-91 Seattle 30 .463 3.1 2.1 15.0 ;

Career 535 .489 3.8 1.7 18.0

Copyright (c) 1991 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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