On This Date: Knicks acquire Xavier McDaniel

October 1st 1991: The New York Knicks acquire Xavier McDaniel

In one of the culminating moves that would shave the first season of the Pat Riley era, the New York Knicks acquired Xavier “X-Man” McDaniel in a trade with the Phoenix Suns. In return, the Knicks traded Jerrod Mustaf, Trent Tucker, and 2 second round picks (1992 and 1994).

McDaniel answered many question marks for the Knicks. First, he embodied the toughness that would symbolize the Knicks culture of the 1990s. Whether it was confrontations with opponents or just ferociousness on the court, his impact lasted beyond his tenure. Additionally, McDaniel immediately became the Knicks starting SF, a need that was never fully filled after Bernard King’s departure in 1987.

X-Man played in all 82 games and averaged 13.7 points/game. He helped complement Ewing on the offensive end and even averaged 18.8 points/game through the 1992 NBA Playoffs.

After the season ended, McDaniel, signed a 3 year contract with the Boston Celtics and played an additional 5 seasons before retiring in 1998.

As for the former Knicks, none of them ever experienced the highs met by X-Man during his lone season with the Knicks. Mustaf had a disappointing NBA career after the Knicks drafted him 17th overall in the 1990 NBA Draft. He spent most of the 90s overseas, including playing in France for SIG Strasbourg.1

Trent Tucker played two more seasons in the NBA with the San Antonio Spurs and the Chicago Bulls. Although he won an NBA championship in his final season (1993), he didn’t experience the highs he did when he hit a buzzer beating basket on Martin Luther King day.


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