The 8 Most Memorable NBA Trade Deadline Deals

IT’S trade deadline season in the NBA. With Thursday’s deadline fast approaching no NBA GM will be getting a lot of sleep in the next few days as the mad scramble to make a move takes over the basketball world. So before deadline day arrives let’s look back on some of the craziest, most memorable moves made at the trade buzzer, for better or worse.

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2012 – Golden State’s championship blueprint

Milwaukee Bucks acquire: Monta Ellis, Ekpe Udoh and Kwame Brown
Golden State Warriors acquire: Andrew Bogut and Stephen Jackson

MOVING Ellis away at the time was considered a bold and questionable move by the Warriors. However, hindsight is a powerful tool. There’s no denying that Andrew Bogut became a key part of Golden State’s championship run in 2014-15, but moving Ellis away allowed Steph Curry the freedom he needed to develop into an MVP calibre player. Ellis was a fine scorer for the Bucks but only lasted 103 games before he moved to Dallas.

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2004 – Sheed puts the Pistons over the edge

Detroit Pistons acquire: Rasheed Wallace and Mike James
Atlanta Hawks acquire: Chris Mills, Zeljko Rebraca, Bob Sura and a 2004 first-round pick
Boston Celtics acquire: Chucky Atkins, Lindsey Hunter and a 2004 first-round pick 

RASHEED Wallace is known in NBA circles for being brash and outspoken throughout his time in the pros and during that time, he had a brief stint in Atlanta. His time with the Hawks was short-lived though as he was moved onto the Pistons after just one game in a complex three-team trade. Of course, the trade worked out perfectly for Detroit with Sheed becoming the final piece in a championship puzzle as they went on to halt the Lakers dynasty in ’04 Finals.

2011 – Melo moves to NYC

New York Knicks acquire: Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Anthony Carter, Shelden Williams, Renaldo Balkman, Corey Brewer and a second-round pick
Denver Nuggets acquire: Danilo Gallinari, Raymond Felton, Timofey Mozgov, Wilson Chandler, 2014 first-round pick, 2012 second-round pick and a 2013 second-round pick
Minnesota Timberwolves acquire: Eddy Curry and Anthony Randolph

THREE teams, 12 players and a bunch of draft picks later Carmelo Anthony got his wish. The former Nugget joined the Knicks at the deadline, teaming up with Amare Stoudamire to form an imposing 1-2 punch. While New York didn’t experience a ton of playoff success, Melo poured on over 10,000 points as a Knick in seven seasons. Once Anthony departed the Nuggets started to decline and haven’t made the playoffs in the last four seasons.

2001 – Mutombo teams up with A.I.

Atlanta Hawks acquire: Toni Kukoc, Theo Ratliff, Pepe Sanchez and Nazr Mohammed
Philadelphia 76ers acquire: Dikembe Mutombo and Roshown McLeod

CHAMPIONSHIPS can be won at the trade deadline and for the 76ers things were looking good with Mutombo in the middle to close out the 2001 season. In the Finals, they were steamrolled by the Lakers juggernaut, but there’s no denying that things would have been worse if Dikembe wasn’t clogging the lane against Shaq. Atlanta was lucky enough to benefit from Mutombo’s prime years, but they still gave away one of the best defenders in the league for not much in return.

2017 – Boogie to the Bayou

Sacramento Kings acquire: Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway, 2017 first-round pick and a 2017 second-round pick
New Orleans Pelicans acquire: DeMarcus Cousins and Omri Casspi

THE 2017 deadline was shaping as a quiet affair until the Kings dealt DeMarcus Cousins. Sacramento didn’t get a ton of assets in return and early signs from the trade point to an F grade for Sacramento. Cousins and Davis have formed an imposing duo in NOLA while the Kings are languishing near the bottom of the standings. Yikes.

2002 – Joe Johnson joins the Suns

Phoenix Suns acquire: Joe Johnson, Randy Brown, Milt Palacio and a 2002 first-round pick
Boston Celtics acquire: Tony Delk and Rodney Rogers

LOOKING on the surface this deal isn’t one that reshaped the landscape of the league. It did change the course of history for Phoenix though as Joe Johnson helped give birth to the ‘run and gun Suns’. He went on to star at Atlanta, but Johnson still balled out for a few years in Phoenix. For the Celtics, Delk and Rogers did not.

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2003 – Gary Payton and Ray Allen swap places

Milwaukee Bucks acquire: Gary Payton and Desmond Mason
Seattle Supersonics acquire: Ray Allen, Ronald Murray, Kevin Ollie and a 2003 first-round pick 

IT’S extremely rare that two teams swap their best players in a deal, but that’s what the Bucks and Sonics did at the 2003 deadline. Ray Allen and Gary Payton were the features of the trade however, things didn’t pan out for either player at their new club. Payton upped and left to join the Lakers super team in the offseason, while Allen’s tenure albeit a little longer, didn’t lead to any great level of success for the Sonics.

2011 – Baron Davis becomes Kyrie Irving

Cleveland Cavaliers acquire: Baron Davis and a 2011 first-round pick 
Los Angeles Clippers acquire: Jamario Moon and Mo Williams

ONE of the most memorable trades in recent history went down at the buzzer of the hectic 2011 trade deadline. At the time it wasn’t a massive trade, but things changed when that first-round pick that LA sent Cleveland became the 1st overall pick in the draft. That pick was used to draft Kyrie Irving, who played a crucial role in the Cavaliers first championship 18 months ago. Oh what could have been Clippers fans.

Peace ✌️

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