NBA Draft 2013: Top 10 Regretful Draft Day Trades of the Past 20 Drafts
All is well in Stern-land, King James and the LeBronnettes are in the NBA Finals. Kind of anti-climatic if you ask me, but thankfully the best part of the NBA season follows the Finals.
The 2013 NBA Draft is upon us, and one of the most exciting elements of draft day is the potential for trades.
There's nothing more entertaining than seeing two extremely tall men in horrendous looking suits, take pictures while exchanging two equally horrendous hats.
The draft day trade also exposes how many NBA front offices out-think themselves out of great players.
Here are the Top 10 draft day trades NBA GMs would love to have back.
10.) 2002: Spurs Trade Luis Scola
The cerebral Spurs did not impulsively trade Luis Scola away, they actually wanted him really bad. They tried for five years to workout a buyout agreement to bring the Argentine big man to the the states.
Things didn't work out, so San Antonio reluctantly traded Scola's rights to the Houston Rockets in 2007 for Vassilis Spanoulis (who?), a second round pick, and cash. Scola was selected to the All-Rookie first team that year, and has been a solid player throughout his career. Nothing flashy, Scola just gets results. He would have fit in great with the Spurs philosophy.
9.) 2009: T-Wolves Trade Ty Lawson
In the 2009, the Minnesota Timberwolves had four first-round draft picks which they used to select four guards. They traded Ty Lawson, their third pick of the night, to Denver (for a future pick), and kept the other three (Ricky Rubio, Jonny Flynn, and Wayne Ellington).
At the time, Ty Lawson was fresh off of leading the North Carolina Tar Heels to the NCAA championship.
So far Lawson is the only one that has panned out. He is the starting point guard for an over-achieving Denver Nuggets team that continually finds themselves in the Top Five teams in a talent stacked Western Conference.
8.) 2008: Raptors Trade Roy Hibbert
Roy Hibbert and Chris Bosh just finished a grueling seven game duel in the Eastern Conference Finals. For about thirty minutes in 2008, they were on the same team.
Maybe if the Toronto Raptors kept Hibbert, Bosh would have kept his talents in Canada. Nah...who can say no to a Dwyane Wade smile?
Roy was traded to the Indiana Pacers for the over-paid and under-performing Jermaine O'Neal. Hibbert was voted to his first NBA All-Star appearance in 2012.
7.) 2004: Suns Trade Luol Deng
History has shown that sometimes high profile players from Duke University don't translate into long term NBA talent. Maybe that was on the back of the Phoenix Suns general manager's mind when he made this trade. Little did he know that Luol Deng is the exception to that stigma.
Since making the move to the Chicago Bulls, Deng has made the All-Rookie first team, made the All-Defensive second team, been named an All-Star twice, and has been the perfect Robin to Derrick Rose's Batman (when D-Rose plays that is).
6.) 2006: Bulls Trade LaMarcus Aldridge
In 2004, the Bulls benefited from a regretful draft day trade, but in 2006, they returned the favor.
At first glance, it looked like the Bulls got it right by using the second overall pick to snag the big man from the University of Texas. Then a couple of minutes later they ruined it by trading him to Portland for the unproven Tyrus Thomas.
Aldridge has established himself as a consistent double-double threat, and is a two-time NBA All-Star
I guess its a little redemption for the Bowie-Jordan flub in 1984...just a little.
5.) 2008: Grizzlies Trade Kevin Love
Yes, the Memphis Grizzlies once had Kevin Love, a.k.a. Mr. Double-Double, in the palms of their hands and traded him to the Minnesota Timberwolves for the draft rights to OJ Mayo, a.k.a. Mr. One Dimensional.
So far with the T-Wolves, Love has made two All-Star appearances (2011 & 2012), won the rebounding title (2011), and won the three-point Shootout at All-Star Weekend (2012). Even though Minnesota hasn't broken through in the win column yet, Kevin Love has a bright future.
As for OJ Mayo, well, he's OJ Mayo.
4.) 2001: Hawks Trade Pau Gasol
Selected third overall in the 2001 NBA Draft, the Hawks traded him away on draft day to the Memphis Grizzlies for veteran forward Shareef Abdur-Rahim.
Gasol went on to win Rookie of the Year, has been selected to the All-Star team four times, and oh yeah, the Grizzlies traded him to the Lakers in 2008 where he got to pair up with Kobe Bryant to win two NBA championships.
He's done okay, I guess.
3.) 2006: Suns Trade Rajon Rondo
The year was 2006, and the Phoenix Suns are one of the top teams in the land, lead by two-time MVP point guard Steve Nash. With the 21st pick in the draft, they were able to stumble into picking University of Kentucky point guard Rajon Rondo.
This was their Brett Favre/Aaron Rodgers moment, and they blew it.
That night, the Suns traded Rondo to the Boston Celtics, and he went on to win an NBA championship (2008), lead the league in assists (2012 & 2013), and was voted to four All-Star game appearances (2010, 2011, 2012, & 2013).
The Suns have since faded into mediocrity.
2.) 1998: Bucks Trade Dirk Nowitzki
Apparently, the Milwaukee Bucks thought very highly of Robert "Tractor" Traylor back in 1998. Not only did they trade future NBA MVP (2007) Dirk Nowitzki to the Dallas Mavericks to get him, but they thought his talent was abundant enough to warrant packaging Pat Garrity to sweeten the pot.
At the time, the Bucks roster already included Ray Allen and Glenn "Big Dog" Robinson, Dirk's presence would have definitely made the Bucks a top tier team in the East.
Bad move, Bucks.
1.) 1996: Hornets Trade Kobe Bryant
Believe it or not, at one time in this universe, Kobe Bryant and Vlade Divac were considered to have equal talent on the basketball court, or at least the Charlotte Hornets thought so. In 1996 they drafted Kobe and promptly traded him to the Los Angeles Lakers for Divac.
I really don't know what would be considered worse, the Portland Trailblazers intentionally passing on Michael Jordan in 1984, or the Hornets having Kobe Bean Bryant in their grasps and trading him away.
The move embarrassed the franchise so much, they moved to New Orleans (purely speculation, but there had to be some embarrassment in hindsight).
A five-time NBA Champion, regular season MVP (2008), two-time NBA Finals MVP (2008 & 2009), two-time regular season scoring champion, and the list goes on.
He should change his middle name to "Accolades." A sure shot Hall of Famer, and a strong argument for Top Ten all-time consideration.
As a consolation prize, Charlotte fans eventually got Michael Jordan to join the team. How's that working out?