2010 NBA Draft: The 10 Best and Worst Draft Trades
To say that the NBA Draft is an inexact science would be an understatement.
If you go back and look at some of the past drafts, you can't help but ask "who is that guy" when you look at some of the players that have been taken over the years.
Taking chances on players that haven't proven themselves and an immense number of draft day trades have sort of become common place at the NBA Draft each year.
With the 2010 NBA Draft creeping closer each week, one can only wonder who will take the next Sam Bowie instead of drafting the next Michael Jordan, or who will allow the next Kobe Bryant to walk out their door for Vlade Divac.
So, in anticipation of the circus that has become draft day trades in the NBA, I created a list of the 10 best and worst draft trades in NBA history.
I may have left some out, but I went as far back as the 1981 draft searching for some real gems of trades that could have given former general managers nightmares when going back and looking at what they did.
The list is in no particular order, so sit back and relax, and feel free to comment on the trades, and even throw in a few of your own!
10. Portland Steals a Star from Minnesota
In 2006, Portland stole a potential superstar from the Minnesota Timberwolves.
I remember sitting in front of the television saying to myself, "What is Minnesota doing?"
In the 2006 NBA Draft, the Portland Trailblazers acquired the No. 6 pick, Brandon Roy, from Minnesota for the No. 7 pick Randy Foye.
Since then, Brandon Roy has only won the Rookie of the Year award, made the All-Star Team three times, and been named to the All-NBA second and third teams in only four seasons in the league.
Roy has established himself as one of the premier players in the league, and took his short-lived legacy to another level when he returned from knee surgery to play in this year's playoffs.
Foye has had a less than stellar four seasons in the NBA.
While he averaged 16.3 points in the 2008-2009 season for Minnesota, he was then traded to the Washington Wizards where he averaged a career low 10.1 points per game coming mostly off the bench.
9. New York Begins Their Eight Year Fire Sale
The 2002 NBA Draft served as the "beginning of the end" for the New York Knicks.
Instead of building a team for the future by selecting a player to build their team around, the New York Knicks used the 2002 draft as a way to "wave the white flag" to their fans.
With players such as Amar'e Stoudemire and Caron Butler on the board, the Knicks decided to select Nene with the No. 7 pick in the first round.
This pick was the precursor to a trade that would ultimately send Nene, Marcus Camby, and Mark Jackson to Denver for Antonio McDyess and the No. 25 pick in the first round: Frank Williams.
The Knicks could have had a pretty solid power forward/center combination for the future with Nene and Camby, but instead they sold their future (and franchise winning) to save a couple dollars.
8. Boston's Little Known Move for the Future
If either team knew what they had in Rajon Rondo in 2006, I'm sure the terms of this trade would have been much different.
In the 2006 NBA Draft the Boston Celtics acquired the No. 21 pick Rajon Rondo, Brian Grant, and cash from the Phoenix Suns for a future first round pick.
Let me sum this up for you.
Phoenix gave Boston Rajon Rondo and money for a pick that they used on Rudy Fernandez in 2007, just to trade Fernandez to Portland shortly after.
Basically, Celtic Nation should thank the Suns for the gift.
Rondo has only turned into one of the premier point guards in the NBA, and Phoenix will soon be looking for their replacement to Steve Nash.
Oh, what could have been, Suns fans.
7. Boston Strikes Again
If stealing Rondo from Phoenix in 2006 wasn't enough, the Boston Celtics pulled off this little gem during the following draft.
In the 2007 NBA Draft the Boston Celtics acquired Ray Allen and the No. 35 pick Glen Davis from the artists formerly known as the Seattle Supersonics for the rights to the No. 5 pick Jeff Green, Delonte West, and Wally Szczerbiak.
This trade only laid the groundwork for bringing Kevin Garnett to Boston, pairing Garnett and Allen with Paul Pierce, and oh yeah....bringing the city of Boston an NBA Championship.
Don't get me wrong, Jeff Green is a nice player in Oklahoma City, but the Celtics built their foundation for the future.
So in 2006 and '07 the Celtics got rid of West, Wally, and the rights to Jeff Green and brought in Ray Allen, Glen Davis, and Rajon Rondo.
If that's not grand larceny, I'm not sure what is.
If you don't think those trades were great for Boston, turn on your television tonight around 8-9pm and tell me how you really feel.
6. What Was Atlanta Thinking?
I know hindsight is 20/20, but I hope whoever was the mastermind behind this trade was fired and banned from the NBA.
In the 2001 NBA Draft the Atlanta Hawks selected Pau Gasol third overall, and then traded him, Brevin Knight, and Lorenzen Wright to the Vancouver Grizzlies for Shareef Abdur-Rahim and a pick.
I don't know about you, but I'm pretty sure the Hawks wouldn't have given Gasol away like the Grizzlies did after seeing what was in him.
Gasol has only become one of the top big men in the league, won an NBA Championship, won the Rookie of the Year award, made the All-Star team three times, and made the All-NBA third team twice.
Rahim was a nice player for the Hawks, but never got them to the playoffs like Gasol could have.
5. Cleveland Steals the Center of a Franchise
We are going to have to go all the way back to 1986 for this one, but it set the tone for a draft that rebuilt the Cleveland Cavaliers franchise.
In the 1986 draft the Cavaliers traded Roy Hinson and cash to Philadelphia for the first overall pick and selected Brad Daugherty.
At the time it may have not seemed like the biggest steal in the world, but Daugherty went on to man the center position for the Cavaliers until 1994, and was a five time NBA All-Star.
This trade also opened up the doors for the Cavaliers to select Ron Harper, trade for Mark Price, and draft John "Hot Rod" Williams.
Unless you are a die-hard basketball fan, you wouldn't know that the trio of Williams, Daugherty, and Harper all made the 1986-87 rookie team.
This trade led the Cavaliers to a stretch in which they would only have two losing seasons in the next 12.
4. Vincsanity Never Had a Chance to be a Warrior
In the 1998 draft, the Golden State Warriors broke up what could have been a great show in their "run and gun" offense.
The Golden State Warriors drafted Vince Carter fifth overall and the traded him to Toronto for the fourth overall pick Antawn Jamison.
While neither player has acquired that elusive NBA Championship, Carter has been the more entertaining, well-known name around the NBA.
He has won slam dunk contests, put the Raptors on the NBA map, and been traded to New Jersey and Orlando.
Jamison has been one of the NBA's most underappreciated players throughout his career, being traded from Golden State to Dallas, from Dallas to Washington, and most recently from Washington to Cleveland.
He has been a career 18-point and seven-rebound guy, and I don't anticipate his movement around the league to stop with Cleveland.
3. Milwaukee Could Have Been Dallas
In 1998 the Dallas Mavericks pulled off a blockbuster draft day trade that would lead to the last time their franchise won less than 40 games in a season.
In the 1998 draft, Dallas pulled off a three-team swindle that sent the No. 9 pick Dirk Nowitzki from Milwaukee to Dallas along with the No. 19 pick Pat Garrity for the No. 6 pick Robert Traylor.
The Mavericks then flipped Garrity to the Suns for this guy you may have heard of, Steve Nash.
We all know that Nash eventually made his way back to Phoenix, but after a 19-win rookie season for Dallas, they never found their way back in the NBA's cellar.
Nowitzki has been one of the most dominant players in the league since 1998, and Garrity and Traylor could probably be found on a carton of Milk asking "What Ever Happened to These Guys?"
2. One of the Greatest for One of the Little Knowns
In 1987, the Chicago Bulls stole Scottie Pippen from Seattle.
Seattle drafted Pippen and traded him to Chicago for the rights to Olden Polynice.
Scottie went on to be one of the NBA's greatest 50 players of all-time, Olden went on to play average basketball.
Pippen was the Robin to the NBA's greatest player, Michael Jordan.
He won six NBA Championships, was a seven time All-Star, made the All-NBA first team three times, and made the All-NBA defensive team eight times.
To say that Seattle lost out on an amazing player is an understatement.
They may have single-handily cost their team an amazing trio of Payton, Kemp, and Pippen, as well as multiple NBA Championships.
In fact, I may go as far as to say that Seattle may have been the Chicago Bulls of the 90s, and the city may still have an NBA team today.
1. Charlotte Loses Kobe, and the Hornets in the Future
There isn't a shadow of doubt in my mind that this wasn't the biggest steal of all time.
The Charlotte Hornets traded the No. 13 pick in the 1996 draft, Kobe Bryant, to the Los Angeles Lakers for Vlade Divac.
Yes, you heard me correctly...Vlade Divac.
I understand that Kobe's agent said he only wanted to play for the Lakers, and that the Hornets were attempting to get a starting player for a little-known 17-year-old high school kid.
But Vlade Divac?
Kobe Bryant will go down as one of the greatest players to ever play this game, Vlade Divac will go down as the traded player that cost the city of Charlotte their Hornets team.
If you don't believe me, take a look at what Kobe has done in his career, put it on display in Charlotte, and tell me that city loses their team.
You can't do it.
Kobe is a four-time NBA Champion, an NBA league MVP, a 12-time All-Star, and is downright the nastiest, most clutch player in the game.
The only thing that I wish could have happened is that the world could have seen Kobe vs MJ in an NBA Finals duel...talk about a dream.
Forget the Kobe-LeBron debate, the only debate that should be going through people's minds is Kobe-MJ.
Bryant is the type of player that will take your team to new levels, put you on his back and carry you to the finish line, and not be afraid to take the big shot at any time.
How do you trade that for Vlade Divac?