Armstrong Becomes Top Expansion Pick : NBA: Raptors take guard from Bulls. Massenburg also headed to Toronto while Lakers lose Harvey to Vancouver.


Having been traded three times in five seasons, Benoit Benjamin began a new phase of his career when he was claimed by the Vancouver Grizzlies in Saturday’s expansion draft.

Benjamin, a former Clipper, Sonic and Laker, now becomes a former Net. He is thought to have been taken because his contract is up next summer so it might not be wise to buy a house in Vancouver unless he wants to retire there.

Former Bull guard B.J. Armstrong was the first choice of the Toronto Raptors, but he might never make it across the border.

Armstrong, 27, was left unprotected in a surprise move by the Bulls. He has been mentioned in trade talks with the Charlotte Hornets and Washington Bullets and might become the first ex-Raptor by Wednesday’s college draft.


The first Grizzly was Knick guard Greg Anthony.

Both the Lakers and Clippers lost a power forward. The Raptors used their second pick for the Clippers’ Tony Massenburg, a pleasant surprise in his return from Europe last season when he averaged more than 25 minutes.

The Grizzlies used their third pick to select the Lakers’ 6-10 Antonio Harvey, a second-year man who played less than 10 minutes a game last season.

Raptor General Manager Isiah Thomas took two veterans he can trade--Armstrong and Miami’s John Salley--plus roly-poly Oliver Miller, who has been expanding most of his career and left Detroit at 335 pounds.


However, Thomas went primarily for young players like last season’s failed No. 1 picks, B.J. Tyler of the 76ers and Dontonio Wingfield of the Sonics. Wingfield had left the University of Cincinnati after his freshman year.

Thomas also took the Celtics’ 1993 bust, Acie Earl, and Maverick disappointment Doug Smith.

The Grizzlies and General Manager Stu Jackson got one hot young player, the Suns’ Trevor Ruffin, and more veterans: ex-Laker Byron Scott (34), Gerald Wilkins (31), Benjamin (30), Kenny Gattison (30) and Blue Edwards (29).

Benjamin’s selection leaves the Nets with two centers: Yinka Dare, last spring’s No. 1 pick whose rookie season added up to three minutes and one air ball; and Dwayne Schintzius who averaged two points and two rebounds.

Net General Manager Willis Reed wanted to leave 1992 No. 1 pick Rex Walters unprotected, but Net owners told him to dangle the higher-priced Benjamin and Dare.

The Lakers left two players unprotected: Harvey and 33-year-old Sedale Threatt.

The Clippers, with more players under contract, exposed Massenburg, Elmore Spencer, Bo Outlaw, Randy Woods and Eric Riley.



NBA Expansion Draft

The players selected by the Toronto Raptors and the Vancouver Grizzlies in Saturday’s NBA expansion draft, with the number at which the player was drafted:


1. B.J. Armstrong, 6-2, guard, Chicago 3. Tony Massenburg, 6-9, forward, Clippers 5. Andres Guibert, 6-10, forward, Minnesota 7. Keith Jennings, 5-7, guard, Golden State 9. Dontonio Wingfield, 6-8, forward, Seattle 11. Doug Smith, 6-10, forward, Dallas 13. Jerome Kersey, 6-7, forward, Portland 15. Zan Tabak, 7-0, center, Houston 17. Willie Anderson, 6-8, guard, San Antonio 19. Ed Pinckney, 6-9, forward, Milwaukee 21. Acie Earl, 6-10, center, Boston 23. B.J. Tyler, 6-1, guard, Philadelphia 25. John Salley, 6-11, forward, Miami 27. Oliver Miller, 6-9, center, Detroit


2. Greg Anthony, 6-2, guard, New York 4. Rodney Dent, 6-9, forward, Orlando 6. Antonio Harvey, 6-11, forward, Lakers 8. Reggie Slater, 6-7, forward, Denver 10. Trevor Ruffin, 6-4, guard, Phoenix 12. Derrick Phelps, 6-4, guard, Sacramento 14. Larry Stewart, 6-8, forward, Washington 16. Kenny Gattison, 6-8, forward, Charlotte 18. Byron Scott, 6-4, guard, Indiana 20. Gerald Wilkins, 6-6, guard, Cleveland 22. Benoit Benjamin, 7-0, center, New Jersey 24. Doug Edwards, 6-7, forward, Atlanta 26. Blue Edwards, 6-4, forward, Utah