Moving through basketball’s past; it is easy to see from hindsight; the worst trades in NBA history. A few of the greatest players ever playing the game were traded for various reasons. Sometimes one player was exchanged for several players. Only for the teams to realize later, the one; was worth the many.
1.Ranking as one of the worst trades of all times is the transaction between the Hawks and the Boston Celtics in the 1968 trading of Bill Russell. This was an unexpected miscalculation on the part of the Hawks that carried unforeseen consequences. They gained as tribute Ed Macauley and Cliff Hagan; they were way underpaid.
Who knew; the transfer of this basketball giant from the St. Louis Hawks would bring such rewards. Red Auerbach made the trade for Bill Russell, and that act would be the beginning of a basketball dynasty. Bill Russell won five MVP awards and led his team to 11 NBA championships.
2.The trading of Charles Barkley must have caused a few sleepless nights after he emerged as a basketball powerhouse, his style, although, controversial off the court made him a player in demand. The Philadelphia 76ers sold Charles Barkley for a price far beneath his worth to the Phoenix Suns in 1992. Big mistake. Charles Barkley went on to become MVP for “92-93” and an overall career 5.1 assists per game. The Suns played in the championship twice in team history with Charles Barkley slamming points in the game.
3.Julius Erving, better known to the world as “Dr. J.” was sold to the Philadelphia 76ers by the Nets in 1976, this event created quite a stir listing as one of the worst trades in NBA history. Brought on by high-powered negotiating; one of the best players in the NBA was moved in a great chess game assisted by money and promises to the Philadelphia 76ers.
4.In 1975 Kareem Abdul Jabbar, another basketball legend was traded by the Milwaukee Bucks to the Los Angeles Lakers unfortunately, this was a big mistake for the Buck. Nevertheless, a great move for Jabbar who was more than ready to leave his old team. The exchange netted the Bucks Brian Winters, Junior Bridgeman, Elmore Smith and Dave Meyers. However, the price paid was not enough, possibly costing the Bucks five championships earned with Kareem Abdul Jabbar on the court for the Lakers.
5.No one can predict the development of a player. This is clear in the aftermath of the Hornets pre-draft trade of a rare talent, Kobe Bryant to the Lakers. The Hornets gave away a player that would go down in history. Over the years, Kobe Bryant blossomed into a superstar landing 5 NBA titles and 18 turns as an All-Star.
6.When the Philadelphia 76ers traded the commanding Wilt Chamberlain to the Los Angeles Lakers, it made the list of the worst trades in NBA history in the worst way. The 76ers not only gave up a player that averaged 21.5 points a game making 58.3% of his shots. The road was paved for one of the greatest players of all time to leave their team. Reportedly, Wilt Chamberlain, unhappy with the 76ers, was traded for three other players in trade. It would seem; his mood improved with the trade.
7.Earvin (Magic) Johnson became one of the greats of the game. Nevertheless, his trade was one of the biggest blunders in history. Traded by the Jazz in 1979 to the Los Angeles Lakers, Magic Johnson became magical for his new team. Magic Johnson loved the game and played with zest. When basketball was filled with exceptional players, Isiah Thomas, Larry Bird and Julius Erving (Dr. J.), “Magic” still stood tall.