Bad Decisions – Timeline Of 13 Terrible In-Season NBA Trades

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1988 – Kevin Johnson traded to the Suns

In 1988, the Cleveland Cavaliers traded Kevin Johnson, Tyrone Corbin, Mark West, a 1988 1st Round Draft pick (Dan Majerle), a 1988 2nd Round Draft pick (Dean Garrett), and a 1989 2nd Round Draft pick (Greg Grant) to the Phoenix Suns for Larry Nance, Mike Sanders, and a 1988 1st Round Draft pick (Randolph Keys). The Cavaliers set the Suns up with key pieces (Johnson, Majerle) to eventually pair with Charles Barkley. While the Cavs, well, stayed the Cavs and continued to disappoint the city of Cleveland.

1994 – Jeff Hornacek to the Jazz

In 1994, the Philadelphia 76ers traded Jeff Hornacek, Sean Green, and a 1995 2nd Round Draft pick (Junior Burrough) to the Utah Jazz for Jeff Malone and a 1994 1st Round Draft pick (B.J. Tyler). Hornacek turned out to be the shooter the Jazz was missing. Unfortunately, the Sixers decided to just give up on a solid player in Hornacek for a player well past his prime in Malone and a draft pick that never materialized. It took the Sixers five years to get back into the playoffs after this doozy of a trade.

1995 – Clyde Drexler traded to the Rockets

In 1995, the Portland Trail Blazers traded Clyde Drexler and Tracy Murray to the Houston Rockets for Otis Thorpe, Marcelo Nicola, and a 1995 1st Round Draft pick (Randolph Childress). The Rockets went on to win the NBA championship that season, while the Blazers saved a lot of cap space and struggled mightily for years to come.

1996 – Tim Hardaway traded to the Heat

In 1996, the Golden State Warriors traded Tim Hardaway and Chris Gatling to the Miami Heat for Bimbo Coles and Kevin Willis. Hardaway instantly made the Heat a title contender for years to come. The Warriors on the other hand went from having one of the most competitive point guards in the NBA to having a guy named Bimbo leading their team. It took the Warriors 11 more years after this trade to finally reach the playoffs again.

2001 – Dikembe Mutombo traded to the Sixers

In 2001, the Atlanta Hawks traded Dikembe Mutombo and Roshown McLeod to the Philadelphia 76ers for Toni Kukoc, Nazr Mohammed, Theo Ratliff, and Pepe Sanchez. The Sixers would finish this season with the best record in the Eastern Conference, while the Hawks got a bunch of injured and past their prime players. The Hawks gave away one of the all-time great defenders in the NBA and it cost them dearly. It took them seven years before they would even reach the postseason again after this trade.

2003 – Ray Allen to the Sonics

In 2003, the Milwaukee Bucks traded Ray Allen, Ronald Murray, Kevin Ollie and a 2003 1st Round Draft pick (Luke Ridnour) to the Seattle Supersonics for Desmond Mason and Gary Payton. This is a trade where both teams traded their best player and neither team benefited from it. Payton left the Bucks after the season to join the Lakers “super team” with Karl Malone. Allen was with Seattle for four seasons after the trade, but never made the playoffs and was eventually traded to Boston where he would finally win his first NBA championship.

2005 – Chris Webber to the Sixers

In 2005, the Sacramento Kings traded Chris Webber, Matt Barnes, and Michael Bradley to the Philadelphia 76ers for Brian Skinner, Kenny Thomas, and Corliss Williamson. The thought was pairing Webber with Allen Iverson would lead the Sixers to the promise land. Unfortunately, Webber wasn’t the same player he was in Sacramento due to age and injuries. The Kings ended up with a bunch of players that did not help them at all and have not made the playoffs since 2006.

2005 – Baron Davis to the Warriors

In 2005, the New Orleans Hornets traded Baron Davis to the Golden State Warriors for Dale Davis and Speedy Claxton. The Warriors ended up with the “We Believe” team and a first-round upset of the Dallas Mavericks. The Hornets on the other hand ended up trading their top talent for not even a draft pick. Needless to say this trade did not work out well for the Hornets and they might want to think twice next time about trading their best player with multiple years remaining on his contract.

2006 – Steve Francis to the Knicks

In 2006, the Orlando Magic traded Steve Francis to the New York Knicks for Anfernee Hardaway and Trevor Ariza. The Magic just trying to clear up some cap space decided to trade a player that was often labeled as selfish. The Knicks had no problem taking on Francis’ unique personality and huge contract. But maybe they should have. The Knicks not only struggled with “Stevie Franchise” leading the team, but were also stuck with him because of his massive contract.

2008 – Pau Gasol traded to the Lakers

In 2008, the Memphis Grizzlies traded Pau Gasol and a 2nd Round Draft pick (Devin Ebanks) to the Los Angles Lakers for Kwame Brown, Javaris Crittenton, Marc Gasol, a 2008 1st Round Draft pick (Donte Greene), and a 2010 1st Round Draft pick (Greivis Vasquez).

All the Lakers did after this trade was win two NBA championships, while the Grizzlies had the misfortune of watching Kwame Brown play basketball. Marc Gasol’s rise is the only reason this trade is high on this list, but Memphis might have a championship or two had they kept the Gasol brothers together.

2008 – Shaquille O’Neal traded to the Suns

In 2008, the Miami Heat traded Shaquille O’Neal to the Phoenix Suns for Marcus Banks and Shawn Marion. The Suns believed getting Shaq would put them in position to finally win an NBA Championship. And it might have, had they made this trade five years earlier. Instead, they got a player that was well past his prime and couldn’t get up and down the floor in the Suns’ fast paced offense. The Suns ended up not making the playoffs with Shaq and only thrived as a team once they finally traded The “Big Cactus”.

2011 – Kendrick Perkins to the Thunder

In 2011, the Boston Celtics traded Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Jeff Green, Nenad Krstic, cash, and a 2012 1st Round Draft pick (Fab Melo). This is another trade that did not benefit either team. Green was that scoring combo forward the Celtics were missing, while Perkins was the big tough guy inside that would help take the Thunder to the next level. Sometimes a change of scenery doesn’t always work out. Both Green and Perkins have struggled mightily in their careers since this trade and neither player would help improve their new team.

2011 – Baron Davis traded to the Cavs

In 2011, the Los Angeles Clippers traded Baron Davis and a 2011 1st Round Draft pick (Kyrie Irving) to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Jamario Moon and Mo Williams. This trade has some bad luck involved, but aren’t the Clippers always unlucky? At the time, Davis was a salary dump for the Clips, but little did they know that their 1st Round pick would turn into perennial All-Star Kyrie Irving. When trading 1st Round picks, it is always wise to make them at least somewhat protected.

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James Cagen

Repping anything sports related.

Bad Decisions – Tim…

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