Chris Paul and 10 Trades That Changed NBA History
There has been a lot of discussion about whether or not Chris Paul should have been allowed to be traded to the Lakers. Paul would have teamed with Kobe Bryant to form one of the best backcourts in NBA history.
It remains to be seen if the losses of Lamar Odom (who has since been traded to Dallas) and Pau Gasol would have created too big of a hole to replace up front.
Paul’s trade to the Clippers is a blockbuster one, but doesn’t have nearly the star power that the Hornets-Lakers trade would have had.
Blockbuster trades have been a part of the NBA landscape for over 50 years, and many of them have changed the course of history.
The general rule has been the team that receives the superstar will prevail over the team that receives multiple players.
10) Shaquille O’Neal from the Lakers to the Heat
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Lamar Odom was a major part of the trade that sent Shaquille O’Neal to the Heat.
They say the best trades are the ones that help both teams. This one netted both the Heat and the Lakers NBA titles.
Odom was traded to the Lakers with Caron Butler, Brian Grant, a 2006 first-round draft pick (Jordan Farmar) and a 2007 second-round draft pick (Renaldas Seibutis) for O'Neal.
In Odom, the Lakers had a versatile player capable of playing all five positions who gave them great length at 6’11". He received the 2011 Sixth Man of the Year award after his final season with the team.
9) Rights to Magic Johnson from the Jazz to the Lakers
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Gail Goodrich was a key component to the Lakers' success in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
When star players left for free agency during that era, teams were often rewarded with compensation.
The Lakers received the Jazz’s first-round picks from 1977-79 and a second-round pick. The 1979 pick turned into Magic Johnson. Additionally, the acquisition of Abdul-Jabbar paved the way for the 1980s dynasty.
Magic led the league in assists per game four times and won the NBA MVP and Finals MVP three times apiece. He revolutionized the point guard position and was the first of his size (6’9") to play it.
When Kareem Abdul-Jabbar got hurt during the Finals against the 76ers, Johnson moved from the point to center. He finished with 42 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists as the Lakers won their first title in seven years.
He would lead them to four more during his illustrious career. On a franchise full of stars, Magic is the greatest Laker ever.
8) Scottie Pippen from the SuperSonics to the Bulls
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Scottie Pippen was traded by the Seattle SuperSonics with a 1989 first-round draft pick (Jeff Sanders) to the Chicago Bulls for Olden Polynice, a 1988 second-round draft pick (Sylvester Gray) and a 1989 first round draft pick (B.J. Armstrong).
Throughout the 1980s, one of the biggest criticisms of Michael Jordan was that a shooting guard could not win the title by himself.
Jordan and the Bulls took off when Pippen hit his prime. He gave the Bulls another long and lean defender. That took a lot of the defensive pressure off of MJ. Pippen went on to become one of the 50 greatest NBA players.
The 1990s Bulls turned into the second-best dynasty in NBA history. The franchise's six NBA titles rank third all-time behind the Celtics and Lakers.
7) Robert Parish and the rights to Kevin McHale from the Warriors to the Celtics
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In one of the most lopsided trades in NBA history, the Celtics acquired two of the cornerstones of their 1980s dynasty in exchange for two 1980 first-round draft picks (Rickey Brown and Joe Barry Carroll).
Alongside Larry Bird, Parish and McHale formed arguably the best frontline in NBA history.
The Celtics won three titles and lost twice in the Finals with this lineup.
6) Julius Erving from the Nets to the 76ers
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The Nets were forced to trade Dr. J to the 76ers for $3 million in return. The move changed the course of two franchises.
The Nets were poised to become instant contenders with the acquisition of Nate “Tiny” Archibald from Kansas City to pair with the Doctor.
Instead, the 76ers advanced to the NBA FInals before losing to the Bill Walton-led Portland Trail Blazers. They would reach the Finals twice more in the Erving era, finally winning it all in 1983.
5) Kobe Bryant from the Hornets to the Lakers
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Vlade Divic was a key contributor to the Lakers during the early and mid-1990s. He became expendable when Shaquille O’Neal joined the Lakers during the summer of 1996.
They traded Divac to the Hornets for the rights to the 13th pick in the 1997 draft that turned out to be Bryant. The drafting of high school players was still relatively new at the time, and only Kevin Garnett had proven to be a success.
Bryant is one of the top-five Lakers of all time and one of the greatest players in NBA history. With five titles, he needs only one more to match Michael Jordan.
Bryant has won two NBA Finals MVPs and the 2008 NBA MVP. He's also made 12 All-Star game appearances and led the league in scoring twice.
4) Wilt Chamberlain from the Warriors to the 76ers
Chamberlain returned to Philadelphia when the Warriors dealt him to the 76ers on Jan. 15, 1965 for Connie Dierking, Paul Neumann, Lee Shaffer and cash.
In three full seasons with the 76ers, Wilt led them to three Eastern Division titles and the 1967 NBA championship. They finished that season 68-13, which was a record at the time.
3) Wilt Chamberlain from Philadelphia to the Lakers
Chamberlain was acquired from the Philadelphia 76ers for Jerry Chambers, Archie Clark and Darrall Imhoff before the 1968-69 season. This marked the first time in NBA history that a reigning MVP was traded after the season.
In his four full seasons in Los Angeles, The Stilt led the NBA in rebounding every year. He only played in 12 games during the 1969-70 season because of a knee injury.
He helped the Lakers capture their first NBA title in Los Angeles in 1971-72 after eight consecutive losses in the Finals as the LA Lakers. Chamberlain was the Finals MVP.
They also made three other Finals appearances during Wilt’s tenure, but lost.
2) Bill Russell from St. Louis Hawks to Boston
Russell was acquired from the then St. Louis Hawks for Ed McCauley and Cliff Hagan in a draft day trade in 1956.
All Russell did in Boston was win five MVP awards, lead the league in rebounding seven times and serve as the cornerstone of 11 Celtics NBA championships.
1) Kareem Abdul-Jabbar from Milwaukee to the Lakers
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This is the trade that set the groundwork for the Lakers dynasty of the 1980s.
Kareem told the Bucks he wanted out of Milwaukee. He requested a trade to either his hometown of New York, where he starred at Power Memorial as Lew Alcindor, or to Los Angeles, where he dominated at UCLA.
The Bucks eventually acquired Junior Bridgeman, Dave Meyers, Elmore Smith and Brian Winters for Abdul-Jabbar and Walt Wesley. Bridgeman, Meyers and Winters did help the Bucks dominate the Central Division for most of the 1980s, but they were never able to advance past the Eastern Conference Finals.
Abdul-Jabbar became arguably the most accomplished center in NBA history due to his tenure with the Lakers. After leading the Bucks to their only NBA championship, he was a part of five championship teams in Los Angeles.
Having already won three MVP awards with the Bucks, he captured three more with the Lakers, was the 1985 NBA Finals MVP and became the NBA’s all-time leading scorer in a Lakers uniform.