By Budd Bailey, Buffalo Sports Page Columnist
No. 63: May 11, 1970 – The Braves trade Bailey Howell to Philadelphia for Bob Kauffman.
Local pro basketball fans always will have a warm spot in their hearts for Bob Kauffman. He gave them someone to cheer when there weren’t many reasons to do so when watching the Braves. Kauffman had been the third overall pick in the 1968 draft (behind Elvin Hayes and Wes Unseld), but couldn’t get into a starting lineup as he bounced around the league a bit.
Then Kauffman got his break. He was traded to Philadelphia on the day of the NBA expansion draft in 1970 that supplied the new Braves with players. Immediately following the draft, the Braves sent veteran Bailey Howell to the Sixers for Kauffman.
The 34-year-old Howell, an outstanding player at his peak, only lasted one year in Philadelphia. Kauffman surprised everyone by moving into the starting lineup as a center and power forward and averaging 20 points per game in 1970-71. He played in three All-Star Games as a Brave. Unfortunately, he started to feel the effects of hip and groin injury after that stretch, and his effectiveness was limited. Kauffman was out of basketball by 1975, but his contributions are remembered.
(Follow Budd on Twitter @WDX2BB)