By Budd Bailey, Buffalo Sports Page Columnist

No. 63: May 11, 1970The 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)

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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