By Budd Bailey, Buffalo Sports Page Columnist

No. 70: September 10, 1973The Braves trade John Hummer, a second-round draft choice in 1974 (Leon Benbow), and a second-round draft choice in 1975 (Larry Fogle) to Chicago for Gar Heard and Kevin Kunnert.

John Hummer was something of an easy target during the early years of the Buffalo Braves. He was the first player taken by the Braves in the draft of 1970, but the team passed over Calvin Murphy of Niagara to take him. That didn’t go over well, particularly when Murphy showed he wasn’t too small to play in the pros. Hummer also wasn’t much of a scorer, relying more abilities in defense and rebounding. Those are important skills, but less obvious than points.

The Braves had just added Ernie DiGregorio to the roster in 1973 and wanted to run more. Hummer wasn’t a great fit in a speed-oriented offense. Buffalo looked for a trading partner, and found one in Chicago. The Bulls gave up Gar Heard and Kevin Kunnert in the transaction.

Hummer was a reserve in Chicago and Seattle for the rest of his career. Heard, however, was a giant surprise. He was small for a power forward at 6-6, but he could get up and down the court. Heard had almost three fine seasons with the Braves before moving to Phoenix, where he was part of some good teams over the next five years.

(Follow Budd on Twitter @WDX2BB)

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey has been involved in almost every aspect of the local sports scene for the last 40 years. He worked for WEBR Radio, the Buffalo Sabres' public relations department and The Buffalo News during that time. In that time he covered virtually every aspect of the area's sports world, from high schools to the Bills and Sabres and everything in between. Along the way, Budd served as a play-by-play announcer for the Bisons, an analyst for the Stallions, and a talk-show host. He won the National Lacrosse League's Tom Borrelli Award as the media personality of the year in 2011, and was a finalist for that same award in 2017. Budd's seventh and eighth books, one on the Transcontinental Railroad and the other about Ichiro Suzuki, are scheduled to be released in the fall.

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