The Golden State Warriors, in a blockbuster trade with the Houston Rockets Saturday night, acquired center Ralph Sampson and guard Steve Harris in exchange for center Joe Barry Carroll and guard Eric (Sleepy) Floyd.
“We have made a decison to make a change in the basic structure of the Golden State Warriors,” said Don Nelson, the team’s executive vice president. “We are not satisfied with the direction of our team.”
“We feel that we must go in a new direction and that the acquisition of Ralph Sampson, who is one of the best young centers in the game, is our first step toward that objective. We are committed to building a championship caliber team for the Bay Area.”
Houston President Ray Patterson said: “I think at the end of last year, it was pretty well defined that we needed help at the shooting guard, which we got in (former Warrior) Purvis Short and World B. Free.
“And we also needed help at point guard--leadership on the court, someone that could go one on one. I want to compliment Allen Leavell on his play to date, and this will not diminish his role with the Rockets. This is something we needed to do for the long haul.”
Carroll, playing with the Warriors in Salt Lake City when the trade was announced, was third on the team in scoring with 16.2 points a game and second in rebounding with 5.6. He led the club with 117 blocked shots.
Floyd led the Warriors with a 21.9-point average before the game against Utah. He also led the team in assists with 10.2 a game.
Carroll scored seven points and Floyd eight in their final game with Golden State, a 127-93 trouncing by the Jazz.
The 7-foor 4-inch Sampson, four inches taller than Carroll, scored 20 points in his final game for Houston against Chicago on Saturday. He is averaging 15.9 points and 9.0 rebounds a game with 33 blocked shots.