Tha Sports Junkies 101

The Top Five Trades From the Last 10 Years That You Don’t Remember

NBA Trades xinchao.zeng/ via


There are some trades that we’ll never forget. Harden to the Rockets, KG to the Celtics, Kobe to the Lakers, you get the picture. In light of recent events surrounding the Kyrie Irving-Isaiah Thomas trade that’s currently stuck in limbo, let’s take a look at some trades from the last decade that you might not remember, but you probably should.

Isaiah Thomas (Multiple trades; Sacramento to Phoenix, Phoenix to Boston)

Perhaps the most undervalued trade piece in recent history, Isaiah has been involved in three trades already, and he’s only 28. Most people remember that he used to play for the Kings, the team that drafted him 60th overall in 2011. What you might not remember is Thomas’s brief stint in Phoenix before becoming a Celtic. Isaiah played one season in Phoenix in which he appeared in only 46 games after a series of injuries. On February 19th, 2015, the Suns traded Thomas to Boston for Marcus Thorton and a first round pick that turned into former Kentucky big man Skal Labissiere.

Thomas flew under the radar in both Sacramento and Phoenix. Since then, he has welcomed the spotlight for a rejuvenated Celtics team, and possibly for the talented Cavaliers in the future.

Kawhi Leonard (Traded from Indiana to San Antonio)

It seems almost unfathomable that there was a brief time in the NBA where Kawhi Leonard wasn’t a Spur. While Leonard never played for the Pacers, they did draft him with the 15th overall pick in the 2011 draft. Leonard wasn’t with Indiana for more than an hour before he was traded to the Spurs for George Hill. The Spurs also received Erazem Lorbek and Davis Bertans in the trade. That same year, Spurs starting small forward Richard Jefferson was traded to Golden State. Leonard was promoted to the starting SF role and never looked back. I think the Spurs might have won that trade, sorry Pacers fans.

LaMarcus Aldridge (Traded from Chicago to Portland)

What?! LaMarcus Aldrige played for the Bulls?? Before you start freaking out and racking your brain for memories of Aldridge in a Bulls jersey, this was another draft-night trade situation. Just like his current Spurs teammate Kawhi Leonard, Aldridge never played for the team that drafted him. Chicago selected Aldridge with the 2nd overall pick in the 2006 draft. However, the Bulls subsequently traded him to Portland for their pick, Tyrus Thomas, and Viktor Khryapa. For now, we can only imagine what it would have been like to see Aldridge in the Windy City.

Kevin Love (Traded from Memphis to Minnesota)

The Kevin we all know and Love from what was seemingly his prime with the Timberwolves didn’t actually begin his career with them. The Grizzlies took Love with the 5th overall pick in the 2008 draft, and then crafted a trade with the Timberwolves full of players nobody remembers.

Memphis receives:

3rd overall pick OJ Mayo

Antoine Walker (yes that Antoine Walker)

Marko Jarić

Greg Buckner

Minnesota receives:

5th overall pick Kevin Love

Mike Miller

Brian Cardinal

Jason Collins

Love, the most successful player in that trade, went on to have six successful seasons in Minnesota before he was sent to Cleveland in the Andrew Wiggins trade.

Rasheed Wallace (Multiple trades)*

Okay, so this one has an asterisk on it because there were multiple trades in which Sheed was involved, the last of which was in 2004. Wallace didn’t retire until 2013 (the second time), though, so that’s why he’s on this list. The Washington Bullets drafted Wallace in 1995 with the 4th overall pick but traded him to Portland after an injury shortened season. After eight years in Portland (the longest tenure of his career), Wallace was traded to Atlanta for  Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Theo Ratliff, and Dan Dickau.

Now buckle your seat belts because here is where it gets weird. After just one game with the Hawks, a loss to the New Jersey Nets, Wallace was dealt to Detroit in a three-team trade with Boston. Despite a 20 point, 6 rebound, 5 block stat-line, Atlanta and Rasheed Wallace just weren’t meant to be. The Pistons won the NBA championship in 2004, Sheed’s first season with the team.

What other trades should have made this list? Leave a comment down below!

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