The NBA trade season is upon us. The Timberwolves recently sent PG Jeff Teague back to Atlanta in exchange for SG Allan Crabbe. The Cavaliers and Jazz have switched guards with Jordan Clarkson for Dante Exum.
Big names such as Kevin Love, Kyle Lowry, Andre Iguodala, and Chris Paul are rumored to be on the move, but will any of these trades really affect the future of the league? There were over 50 trades that took place during the 2018-19 NBA season. Which players could completely change a franchise's championship aspirations?
Today we're doing just that in looking at the biggest trades of the past, some fair-some lopsided, that absolutely altered the course of the National Basketball Association. These are trades that cemented players in the Hall of Fame, sent franchises spiraling into obscurity, and laid championship foundations for other teams.
Let us know down below in the comment section any of the big NBA trades you feel were left out and who you'd like to see change teams in the near future!
11. Honorable Mention: The Chris Paul Trade That Never Happened
The infamous 2011 trade that commissioner David Stern vetoed while the NBA had ownership over the New Orleans Hornets (later rebranded to Pelicans). If it had gone through, Chris Paul would have ended up on the Los Angeles Lakers, Pau Gasol would be a Houston Rocket, and Lamar Odom/Luis Scola/Goran Dragic/Kevin Martin all would have been Hornets.
Instead, Stern approved a trade six days later that sent 'CP3' to the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for Chris Kaman, Eric Gordon, Al-Farouq Aminu, and the draft pick that would eventually become Austin Rivers.
With the trade that stood, New Orleans finished with the 3rd worst record and had luck in their favor as they landed the top pick in the draft, getting future all-pro Anthony Davis. However, the Davis era ended in disappointment and zero finals appearances. It's hard to say the Hornets would have done better with a line-up consisting of Emeka Okafur, Scola, Odom, Martin, and Dragic.
Houston would have been interesting, as Gasol could have stepped in to replace the injured Yao Ming. He'd be playing alongside a young core of solid players such as Kyle Lowry, Courtney Lee, and Jordan Hill. Eventually, he'd possibly be playing with James Harden and Jeremy Lin- and the Rockets could avoid the Dwight Howard era.
And the team hurt the most with the veto: the Los Angeles Lakers. While they had solid endings to their '11 and '12 seasons, had Paul been a member of the Lakers, they could have avoided sending 4 picks in the disastrous Steve Nash trade. 2013 would be the last time we'd see the 'real' Kobe Bryant as he ended the season tearing his achilles while he dragged the team into the playoffs.
It's not too much of a stretch to believe that Paul would have alleviated some of the workload from Bryant and possibly been able to mediate the rift between him and Dwight, helping carry the Lakers to another championship (and Paul's first). Instead, CP3 spent 6 seasons as part of "lob city" with Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, never getting past the 2nd round of the playoffs.