Robert "Tractor" Traylor, the No. 6 overall pick in the 1998 NBA Draft, was reportedly found dead in Puerto Rico, where he was playing for the Bayamon Cowboys. He was 34 years old.
ElNuevoDia.com reported that Traylor was "found dead in his apartment in Isla Verde" and had "presumably died of a massive heart attack." PrimeraHora.com also reported that Traylor was found dead. SNY.tv reported that Traylor was "found dead of a heart attack in his apartment."
The Bayamon Cowboys confirmed the passing on their official Facebook page. The message read: "The center of the Bayamon Cowboys, Robert "Tractor" Traylor, was found dead in his apartment in Isla Verde. The game tonight between Mayaguez and the Cowboys was suspended ....."
ESPNDeportes.com reported that Traylor "had been missing for three days before friends went to visit him and found his body" and said that an official cause of death "has yet to be determined."
Cleveland.com reported that Traylor underwent "corrective heart surgery" in 2006 because of an "enlarged aortic valve."
Traylor, a McDonald's All-American heavyweight forward who attended the University of Michigan, played seven seasons in the NBA for the Milwaukee Bucks, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Charlotte/New Orleans Hornets. He is perhaps best known as the player who was traded for Dirk Nowitzki on draft night.
Traylor finished with career averages of 4.8 points and 3.7 rebounds in 14.3 minutes per game.
After his NBA career, Traylor played professional basketball in Turkey and Italy. He also made headlines in 2007 for pleading guilty to tax fraud charges in association with a drug dealer.
This post will be updated when additional information becomes available.
Update: The Milwaukee Bucks released the following statement.
The entire Milwaukee Bucks organization is saddened by the news of Robert Traylor’s death. Robert was a fierce competitor on the court who helped the Bucks reach the playoffs in each of his two seasons in Milwaukee (1998-2000). Off the court he was a gentle giant, displaying his smile and care, especially toward young people through his involvement in school visits and his work with the Special Olympics clinic. Our deepest sympathies go out to his family and friends.