Ed Macauley, shown in this November 9, 2009 file photo, a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame has often been referred to as the greatest player in the history of St. Louis University. UPI/Bill Greenblatt/FILES

Ed Macauley, one of the NBA’s first big stars who won a championship with the St. Louis Hawks and was traded by the Boston Celtics for Bill Russell, has died as the age of 83. Macauley was a standout player with the Saint Louis Billikens, leading them to a 1948 NIT title. His death was reported by Saint Louis University, but not details were released at this time.

Macauley played for the Boston Celtics from the 1950-56. He and the draft rights of Hall of Famer Cliff Hagan were traded by Boston to the St. Louis Hawks for the rights to Russell. We know the story from there, with the Celtics winning 11 titles with Russell dominating the NBA.

However, Macauley and the Hawks played Boston in back to back NBA finals with Russell getting the upper hand in 1957 and then “Easy Ed” and the Hawks winning in 1958.