Biggest NBA Trade Fails of the 2012-13 NBA Season

Alec NathanFeatured ColumnistApril 3, 2013

Biggest NBA Trade Fails of the 2012-13 NBA Season

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    From James Harden to Dwight Howard and Andrew Bynum, the fortunes of NBA franchises have been changed for better and for worse due to big-time gambles taken over the summer and at the trade deadline.

    Ideally, a trade will satisfy all parties involved, either through salary cap relief or the addition of desired talent.

    The harsh reality is that some trades wind up being major busts, particularly when players are deficient in certain areas of the game or struggle to perform to the desired level of the team that made the acquisition.

    Note: Sign-and-trades were not considered for the purposes of this slideshow.

Orlando Magic Trade Josh McRoberts for Hakim Warrick

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    At first glance, the one-for-one swap that netted the Charlotte Bobcats Josh McRoberts appeared to be a meaningless deadline deal.

    In the trade, Charlotte sent forward Hakim Warrick to the Magic, and he was waived by his new employer shortly thereafter.

    McRoberts, on the other hand, has been quite productive since joining the Bobcats.

    Averaging 27.1 minutes per game in Charlotte, McRoberts and his finely coiffed head of hair have sustained solid production.

    According to Basketball-Reference, McRoberts is averaging 10.5 points, 8.4 rebounds and 1.2 steals per 36 minutes since arriving in Charlotte and has emerged as the team's most productive big as Byron Mullens has battled injuries down the stretch.

    Much to Bobcats fans' delight, McRoberts has made the Magic look foolish for dealing him for the now-unemployed Warrick.

Washington Wizards Deal for Trevor Ariza and Emeka Okafor

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    The Washington Wizards relieved themselves of Rashard Lewis' unsightly contract when they dealt him to the New Orleans Hornets leading up to the start of the 2012-13 season.

    Unfortunately, the Wizards also took on a fair bit of cash in the deal, acquiring the contracts of Trevor Ariza and Emeka Okafor.

    According to HoopsHype, Ariza and Okafor are making more than $20 million combined this season. The Wizards will likely dole out even more money to the pair next season, as Okafor is on the books for one more season (at $14.5 million) while Ariza has a player option worth $7.7 million that he would be crazy to decline.

    In their first seasons with the Wizards, Ariza and Okafor are averaging 9.5 and 9.8 points per game respectively. Neither player has been horribly efficient either, as Ariza has shot 42 percent from the field while Okafor has posted a true shooting percentage of just 50.1 percent, according to Basketball-Reference.

    While trading Lewis was perfectly acceptable, the haul the Wizards got in return from both a financial- and performance-based standpoint has been less than ideal.

New York Knicks Trade Ronnie Brewer to Oklahoma City

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    Ronnie Brewer hasn't been given much of a chance to make his presence felt on the Oklahoma City Thunder after being dealt at the deadline by the New York Knicks.

    While he wasn't given significant minutes under Mike Woodson in his time with the Knicks, Brewer did start 34 games and was one of the team's best wing defenders.

    The move was a puzzling one at the time, as the Knicks' perimeter defense has been shaky all season long. Trading a capable 28-year-old body like Brewer so the Knicks could sign an aging interior defender like Kenyon Martin was not only questionable, it was risky too.

    The Knicks miss Brewer, evident by the 35.9 percent they allow opponents to shoot from beyond the arc. In addition, the Knicks rank 27th in the NBA in opponent's points scored via the three-pointer, allowing a mark of 24.4 percent, according to TeamRankings.

    Martin has been a strong presence in the post for the Knicks, but he won't solve the team's defensive woes on the perimeter come playoff time.

    The Knicks lack a defender capable of taking on LeBron James, Dwyane Wade or Paul George, and Brewer could have filled that void.

Toronto Raptors Acquire Rudy Gay

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    Rudy Gay is a nice complementary player. He's a dynamic athlete with a quick first step (one he doesn't use nearly enough), but he's not the type of player you want to build a franchise around.

    Gay's offensive game is far from refined, and his volume-scoring ways are not efficient enough to sustain the Toronto Raptors' offense on a nightly basis.

    The Raptors paid a hefty price for Gay's services, not only in terms of dollars, but in terms of the talent they relinquished.

    Ed Davis had emerged as one of the league's best young, low-post players at the time of the deal, while Jose Calderon remained a steady presence and beloved figure at point guard.

    According to HoopsHype, Gay is on the books for more than $53 million over the next three years if you include his player option that kicks in in 2014-15.

    Since joining the Raptors, Gay has averaged a team-high 19.9 points per game (on 17.8 shots), but he's shot a miserable 41.9 percent from the field and an equally disappointing 29.9 percent from three.

Philadelphia 76ers Deal for Andrew Bynum and Jason Richardson

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    When the Philadelphia 76ers completed a blockbuster four-team trade in the summer of 2012, it was seen as a phenomenal move for all parties involved.

    For the Sixers, the trade meant acquiring Andrew Bynum, the league's second-best center (at the time), who figured to instantly make them contenders in a lackluster Eastern Conference.

    The Sixers had been stuck in a perpetual state of mediocrity ever since the departure of Allen Iverson, and this move was seen as one that would give the franchise a centerpiece to build around.

    Along with Bynum, the Sixers acquired veteran shooting guard Jason Richardson, a quality three-point shooter who figured to help space the floor.

    Unfortunately for the Sixers, both Bynum and Richardson ran into major injury trouble. Bynum and Richardson would suit up for a combined 33 games in 2012-13, with Richardson making all of the aforementioned appearances.

    Philadelphia's front office provided false hope for fans all season long, releasing ambiguous updates regarding Bynum's health until the team finally announced Bynum would be out for the remainder of the season after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on both of his knees.

    Richardson would end up falling victim to a brutal knee injury himself and was forced to undergo season-ending surgery.

    To add insult to injury, John Mitchell of the Philadelphia Inquirer recently reported that Bynum is unlikely to offer the 76ers any sort of hometown discount when he hits free agency this summer.