Trades in the NBA happen frequently, but some stand out more than others. Here are some of the most shocking trades in the NBA in the last 10 years.
- Oklahoma City trades James Harden to Houston for Jeremy Lamb, Kevin Martin, 2013 1st rounder, 2013 2nd rounder, and 2014 1st rounder
In 2012, the Oklahoma City Thunder were poised for great things. They had lost to the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals the year prior, but they had a young, talented nucleus of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden. As the sixth man, James Harden provided valuable scoring and playmaking off the bench.
Unfortunately, the prospect of having to pay an expensive luxury tax to resign Harden to a max deal proved to be too daunting. Since then, Harden has become a perennial all star and MVP in the league. To this day, one of the biggest “what-if’s” in NBA history is if the talented trio all stayed.
- Boston Celtics trade Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Jason Terry, D.J. White, and a 2017 2nd-rounder to the Brooklyn Nets for Keith Bogans, MarShon Brooks, Kris Humphries, Gerald Wallace, Kris Joseph, a 2014 1st-rounder, a 2016 1st-rounder, a 2018 1st-rounder, and rights to swap picks in 2015 and 2017
Some call this the worst trade in NBA history, and with good reason. The Nets wanted a shot to knock off LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and the Miami Heat, and they wanted to do it at all costs; even if it meant mortgaging their future. They got two Hall of Famers in Pierce and Garnett, but the problem was that they were 36 and 37 respectively.
The players Boston received in the trade don’t matter. What matters is who they drafted with the picks they got. Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum look to have high NBA ceilings, and another pick they got convinced Cleveland to trade star point guard Kyrie Irving to them, leading us into our next talking point…
- Cleveland Cavaliers trade Kyrie Irving to Boston Celtics for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, and a 2018 1st-rounder
The timing of the trade was shocking, as Kyrie Irving’s apparent disinterest and frustration with playing in Cleveland and with LeBron James came to a head when he requested to be traded. Cleveland has sorely missed Kyrie’s shotmaking ability since then, and the Celtics have seemingly become a playoff team overnight. Irving, combined with young starts Brown and Tatum, make for serious threat in the league.