Nick Van Exel
Nick the Quick
|Drafted By:||L.A. Lakers|
Nick Van Exel (born November 27, 1971 in Kenosha, Wisconsin) was obtained by the Dallas Mavericks in a trade with the Denver Nuggets along with Tariq Abdul-Wahad, Avery Johnson and Raef LaFrentz, in exchange for Tim Hardaway, Juwan Howard, Donnell Harvey, cash and a 2002 first round draft pick.
Van Exel attended both Trinity Valley Community College and the University of Cincinnati. At TVCC, he averaged 18.0 ppg and 20.4 ppg during his first two years. He transferred to Cincinnati in 1991 and, after settling in to coach Bob Huggins' offense, became a starter for the final 20 games of his junior season and led the Bearcats to an 18-2 mark over that time and an NCAA Final Four appearance.
As a senior, he led Cincy in scoring average (18.3) and assists (4.5) while being named third team NCAA AP All-American and returning the Bearcats to the NCAA Tournament and advancing to the Elite Eight. After college, Van Exel was drafted in the second round of the 1993 NBA draft by the Los Angeles Lakers.
He played for the Lakers for five seasons and was selected to the NBA All-Rookie second team while averaging 13.6 ppg in 81 games his rookie season. While with Los Angeles, the Lakers made the playoffs four times with Van Exel's top scoring season coming his sophomore year in the league when he ran his average up to 16.9 ppg. He made the NBA All-Star team in 1998, his final season with L.A.
The Lakers traded Van Exel to Denver for Tony Battie and Tyronn Lue prior to the '98-'99 campaign. His most productive seasons were with the Nuggets when he had career-bests in assists (9.0) in 1999-2000 and scoring (17.7) in 2000-2001. He played three-and-a-half years in Denver before the trade that brought him to Dallas.
With the Mavs, Van Exel quickly became a crowd favorite coming off the bench and picking up the tempo of the game. He appeared in 27 games after the trade averaging 13.2 ppg as the Mavs made the playoffs in 2001-2002. The next season afforded the 6'1 guard a full season in Dallas and he responded with 12.5 points, 4.3 assists and 2.8 rebounds in just over 27 minutes over 73 games, again helping to lead the Mavericks into the NBA Playoffs.
In the summer of 2003 Dallas traded Van Exel, along with Avery Johnson, Raef LaFrentz and Tariq Abdul-Wahad to Golden State for Danny Fortson, Antawn Jamison, Chris Mills, and Jiri Welsch. That began a run of three teams in the next three seasons...the last of Van Exel's career.
He saw action in 39 games with the Warriors averaging 12.6 points but was traded after the season to the Portland Trail Blazers. He had 53 games with Portland in 2004-2005 and finished his career with 65 games the following season with San Antonio.
For his career, Van Exel finished in the NBA's top ten in assists (5 times), assists-per-game (5 times), 3-PT Field Goals (4 times) and 3-PT Field Goals attempted (5 times). Today, Van Exel is an assistant coach with the NBA's Atlanta Hawks.