20. Pau Gasol to the Lakers Date: 2/1/2008 Trade: Los Angeles Lakers get Pau Gasol and a a 2010 2nd Round Draft pick (Devin Ebanks); Memphis Grizzlies get Kwame Brown, Javaris Crittenton, Marc Gasol, a 2008 1st Round Draft pick (Donte Greene), and a 2010 1st Round Draft pick (Greivis Vasquez).
The Lakers are like that teenager who makes his Monopoly earnings by constantly picking on that 7-year-old who knows very little about the concept of rent. The difference here is the NBA just doesn't seem to wise up because Los Angeles has been snatching up stars for decades. The latest example is Pau Gasol. The forward is now expendable when it comes to trade talks and was often called "Pau Gasoft" even when the Lakers weren't playing like basura. Los Angeles won two championships with that soft ass forward, however. Anybody picture the Grizzles front office looking back on their acquisition of Kwame Brown with fond memories? Well, at least they got the tougher Gasol out of the deal.
19. LaMarcus Aldridge to the Blazers Date: 6/28/2006 Trade: Portland Trail Blazers get LaMarcus Aldridge and a 2007 second-round pick (Demetris Nichols); Chicago Bulls get Tyrus Thomas and Viktor Khryapa
Here's LaMarcus Aldridge's and the other two players' career stats in a glance.
LaMarcus Aldridge: 18.8 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 1.0 BPG, still in the NBA Tyrus Thomas: 7.7 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 1.3 BPG, currently unsigned Viktor Khryapa 9.8 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 0.7 BPG, playing in Russia. See how the Bulls made a slight error here?
18. Jermaine O'Neal to the Pacers Date: 8/15/2000 Trade: Indiana Pacers get Jermaine O'Neal and Joe Kleine; Portland Trail Blazers get Dale Davis
Jermaine O'Neal is averaging 6.5 points per game and 4.7 rebounds this season. The man isn't a ticket-seller, but here's the thing: O'Neal is still in the league. He's a shell of his former self, but O'Neal was still a six-time All-Star and was part of a dominant Pacers squad (the last one before Paul George and co. started running things). Dale Davis on the other hand isn't on an NBA court and has struggled to average double digits in points his entire career. See how Portland may have gotten stiffed?
17. Vin Baker to the SuperSonics Date: 9/25/1997 Trade: Seattle SuperSonics get Vin Baker; Milwaukee Bucks get Terrell Brandon, Tyrone Hill and a 1998 first-round pick (Pat Garrity); Cleveland Cavaliers get Shawn Kemp and Sherman Douglas
It's not like any of the sides got a huge boost in this situation. Seattle just happened to lose the most. Shawn Kemp wasn't happy with his salary, and the SuperSonics inability to give him what he wanted forced them to deal. What they got in return was Vin Baker, an alcoholic who eventually let his worst habits end his career.
16. James Worthy to the Lakers Date: 2/15/2008 Trade: Los Angeles Lakers get Butch Lee, 1982 first-round pick (James Worthy); Cleveland Cavaliers get Don Ford and 1980 first-round pick (Chad Kinch)
It's not about the main players being given up here. Do you ever stay up late watching Butch Lee highlights? The highlight reels many did end up watching was James Worthy's, who turned out to be the first-round draft pick the Cavaliers gave up. Don Ford only lasted two seasons with the Cavs and 1980 draft pick Chad Kinch played just one season before tragically succumbing to AIDS-related complications in 1994.
15. Chris Webber to the Kings Date: 5/15/1998 Trade: Sacramento Kings get Chris Webber; Washington Wizards get Mitch Richmond and Otis Thorpe
One of the front office's duties is specifically to not make ridiculous moves like these. But it still happens, especially if you're on the constantly subpar Wizards staff. Before Michael Jordan thought drafting Kwame Brown qualified as a smart decision, the Wizards decided to give away a perfrectly capable, pre-injury Chris Webber for Mitch Richmond. That's the post-Run-TMC, I'm-only-doing-this-for-a-few-more-years-so-fuck-it Richmond they were getting for the Webber that pushed the Kings to becoming a Western offensive powerhouse. They didn't think they were going to get a mulilgan, did they?
14. Vince Carter to the Nets Date: 12/17/2004 Trade: New Jersey Nets get Vince Carter; Toronto Raptors get Alonzo Mourning, Aaron Williams, Eric Williams, a 2005 first-round pick (Joey Graham) and a 2006 first-round pick (Renaldo Balkman)
Nonsense like this is the reason the Raptors only made it out the first round of the playoffs just once in its franchise's history. Not only did the Raptors give up the most electrifying player in its history; in return, they got a deal that said, "Hey, being nationally relevant is sort of not our thing." Perhaps Toronto thought the aging Alonzo Mourning had a bit more to give, but it turns out they were wrong. The weak contributors in Eric and Aaron Williams didn't help either.
13. Moses Malone to the Rockets Date: 8/24/1976 Trade: Houston Rockets get Moses Malone; Buffalo Braves get a 1977 first-round pick (Wesley Cox) and a 1978 first-round pick (Michael Ray Richardson)
This is one of the few cases where an NBA team gets a steal only to get robbed in turn. The Buffalo Braves (yes, Buffalo, NY did have a basketball team. It's now the Clippers) got Moses Malone for a first-round draft pick who didn't do much in the NBA. Then in an odd form of poetic justice, the Braves also ended up giving away Malone for draft picks. One of who was 1978 first-rounder Michael Ray Richardson, who was good, but not Moss Malone good. The craziest thing about this whole transfer is that Malone left Buffalo after appearing in two games and not scoring a single point.
12. Bill Russell to the Celtics Date: 4/30/1956 Trade: Boston Celtics get Bill Russell; St. Louis Hawks get Cliff Hagan and Ed Macauley
Can two players produce a fraction of what Bill Russell can do? Whoever ran the front office for the St. Louis Hawks is still trying to figure that out. It turns out, they were off. Way off. Off by five MVPs and 11 titles to be exact. Both Hagan and Macauley made the Hall of Fame, by the way, so it's not like the Hawks received a couple stiffs in return for the greatest winner in American sports.
11. Dirk Nowtizki to the Mavericks Date: 6/24/1998 Trade: Dallas Mavericks get Dirk Nowitzki and Pat Garrity; Milwaukee Bucks get Robert Traylor
To be fair, Dirk Nowitzki wasn't that good during his first few years in the league. He averaged less than 20 points per game his first two seasons before finally getting it together in 2000. It's still a highly questionable decision even under the guise of fairness. Nowitzki averaged 8.2 points per game in his first season, which is a little less than double of what Robert Traylor averaged his entire NBA career before spending his last days playing internationally.
10. Julius Erving to 76ers Date: 10/20/1976 Trade: Philadelphia 76ers get Julius Erving; New Jersey Nets get $3 million
Isn't this something? One of the greatest players in NBA history was traded (or sold) for cash, and it was all because of a broken promise. The Nets joined the NBA during the 1976-77 season and had to pay $3.2 million as an entrance fee. The Knicks also pressured Nets owner Roy Boe to pay $4.8 million as a fee for invading their territory, which was a bigger issue since he promised to raise Erving's salary when his team joined the NBA. So Boe went back on his promise, upsetting Erving to the point where he refused to take part in training camp. As a result, Erving took his talents to the 76ers for $3 million.
9. Eddy Curry to the Knicks Date: 10/4/2005 Trade: New York Knicks get Eddy Curry, Antonio Davis and a 2007 first-round pick (Wilson Chandler); Chicago Bulls get Jermaine Jackson, Tim Thomas, Mike Sweetney, a 2006 first-round pick (LaMarcus Aldridge), a 2007 first-round pick (Joakim Noah), a 2007 second-round pick (Kyrylo Fesenko) and a 2009 second-round pick (Jon Brockman)
Say these two names: Eddy Curry and Isaiah Thomas. If you're a Knicks fan and didn't suffer a brain aneurysm, you're strong. The Thomas reign over the Knicks last decade turned memories of the '90s powerhouse into distant ones, and one of the era's nadirs is the existence of Eddy Curry in blue and orange. Curry was great offensively in the post, but that skill wasn't good enough to outweigh his gross lack of work ethic, heart issues, an poor defense. Curry's contract was worth six years and $56 million, yet he only played 10 games for the Knicks. A shame, since he would've fit right along with New York's no-defense philosophy.
8. Wilt Chamberlain to the Lakers Date: 7/9/1968 Trade: Los Angeles Lakers gets Wilt Chamberlain; Philadelphia 76ers get Jerry Chambers, Archie Clark, and Darrall Imhoff
Wilt Chamberlain wanted out of Philadelphia after consecutive exits in the first round of the playoffs, although a few believe he wanted to go to L.A. because he wanted to date white women. Regardless of the reasons, Chamberlain wanted to go and pressure was put on the front office to deal him out. Unfortunately, pressure bursts pipes and weak front offices and the Sixers let the Lakers rob them. Jerry Chambers, Darrall Imhoff, and Archie Clark lone claim to current relevance is being part of this horrible trade.
7. Oscar Robertson to the Bucks Date: 4/21/1970 Trade: MIlwaukee Bucks get Oscar Obertson; Cincinnati Royals get Charlie Paulk and Flynn Robinson
You normally don't get that much magic from a star nearing the end of his career, so it's understandable he'd be on the trading block. Fourty years later, it's agreed that Robertson wasn't your normal type of star, but he got traded for a very normal pair a players. Robertson went on to do what he couldn't with the Royals: Win an NBA Championship. The Bucks swept the Baltimore Bullets in the Finals in 1971.
6. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to the Lakers Date: 7/16/1975 Trade: Milwaukee Bucks gets Junior Bridgeman, Dave Myers, Elmore Smith and Brian Winters; Los Angeles Lakers Get Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Walt Wesley
The Lakers got a man who would finish his career with six MVPs, six championships, 19 All-Star selections, and the most points in NBA history. The four players the Bucks received finished with a combined total of two All-Star appearances...Great deal, no?
5. Robert Parish to Celtics Date: 9/9/1980 Trade: Boston Celtics get Robert Parish and a 1980 first-round pick (Kevin McHale); Golden State Warriors get a 1980 first-round pick (Joe Barry Carroll) and a 1980 first-round pick (Rickey Brown)
The Warriors fucked it up for themselves in two ways in this deal. The most immediate way is trading Robert Parish, the legendary center who would go on to help the Celtics win three titles and ride the bench for another one with the Bulls. That deal was bad by itself, but it's made even worse by that 1980 first-round pick they gave up. He turned out to be Kevin McHale, another Hall of Famer the Warriors missed out on. Golden State managed to bounce back thanks to the help of that potent Run-TMC offense but went about a decade and a half without winning a playoff game following Mitch Richmond's departure.
4. Dominique Wilkins to the Hawks Date: 9/2/1982 Trade: Atlanta Hawks get Dominique Wilkins; Utah Jazz gets John Drew and Freeman Williams
Could you imagine the combination of Karl Malone, Dominique Wilkins, and John Stockton on one team? It could've happened, but the NBA also runs on money. The Jazz were going through cash flow issues and Wilkins didn't want to play for them. So Utah was forced to trade for subpar talent and some cash. Stockton, Malone, and Dominique could've won a couple Larry O'Briens.
3. Scottie Pippen to the Bulls Date: 6/22/1987 Trade: Chicago Bulls get Scottie Pippen and a 1989 first-round pick (Jeff Sanders); Seattle SuperSonics get Olden Polynice, a 1988 second-round pick (Sylvester Gray) and a 1989 first-round pick (B.J. Armstrong)
Scottie Pippen wouldn't be one of the key members of the Bulls dynasty if a few more folks at Seattle had their heads on straight.. B.J. Armstrong is the only one from this bunch you can classify as kind of all right by today's standards, and that's really not good enough for someone who would push to win six championships in his career. The Seattle front office—now in Oklahoma City—definitely wised up a bit.
2. Charles Barkley to the Suns Date: 7/17/1992 Trade: Phoenix Suns get Charles Barkley; Philadelphia 76ers get Jeff Hornacek, Andrew Lang and Tim Perry
Superstars don't always lead teams to championships, so sometimes a franchise has to go in a different direction and trade that superstar for something else in hopes of improving. This is part of why a Carmelo Anthony trade is often suggested. Charles Barkley was no doubt a star before he had his MVP during his first season with the Phoenix Suns, but the Sixers never made it past the conference finals with him. The goal of making such a trade is to get players that will contribute to the team's blueprint and improve the team. Jeff Hornacek was decent, but adding in Andrew Lang and Tim Perry just simply isn't enough. That's the type of move that helps doom your franchise to decade long mediocrity.
They couldn't get a first round pick for Chuck?
1. Kobe Bryant to the Lakers Date: 7/11/1996 Trade: Los Angeles Lakers get Kobe Bryant; Charlotte Hornets get Vlade Divac
There's only so much a rookie prospect can show you, but he can't possibly show you the ability to make the sort of impact someone like Kobe Bryant has. We can't imagine that line of thinking comforts the Hornets front office when they think about what could've been if Bryant had spent his years in Charlotte. The franchise had a pre-draft deal that sent the 13th pick to the Lakers in exchange for shameless career flopper Vlade Divac. The Hornets needed to fill in the center role after trading away Alonzo Mourning and reaching for a necessity eventually became known as one of the franchise's most infamous moments.