We hate to admit this, but the prior to sports, there’s always going to be business, and the NBA is one of the most lucrative business in the world; and with all that money on the table, the team’s front office always have to take hard and cold decisions considering what’s best for the franchise.
General Managers are constantly in the hot seat because they have to make a decision and sometimes what’s best for the franchise isn’t always best for the fans, the media or even some of their best players.
They tend to do a lot of bold moves that people can’t figure out at the moment, hoping they work out for the best and avoid making a fool out of themselves and digging the franchise on a bigger hole they already were prior to making the move.
General Managers have proven to have almost none loyalty, thinking with their pockets rather than their hearts, and today, we’re going to let you know about some of the most disloyal moves they’ve made in history.
4. Seattle Supersonics: Trading Gary Payton
Ray Allen had pretty much outgrown the Milwaukee Bucks and successfully tried to force a move to a contending side, with the Sonics being the chosen destination after the team was trying to embrace a younger team to become contendings for the future, something that obviously made the 12 season veteran Gary Payton expendable.
The Sonics sent Payton to a bad Bucks team as he was set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, and The Glove only stood there for the remainder of the campaign before joining the Lakers and eventually Miami. Payton peaked during his Sonics era and was one of the deadliest two-way guards in the world at that time, but none of that mattered in the end.
3. Oklahoma City Thunder: Trading James Harden
Following an NBA Finals loss, Sam Presti and the Oklahoma City Thunder were facing a major decision in the offseason: keeping Serge Ibaka or James Harden, who was set to become a restricted free agent and was obviously going to draw a lot of interest after his Sixth Man of the Year campaign.
Eventually, Presti decided Ibaka’s rim protection was more important for the team with Westbrook and Durant handling the scoring duties, trading away James Harden to Houston in return of a lot of spare parts. Obviously, that move was a franchise-changing trade for the Rockets, while OKC couldn’t even make it back to the Finals.
2. Boston Celtics: Trading Isaiah Thomas
It seemed like Isaiah Thomas had finally found his home with the Boston Celtics after being passed around the league from Sacramento to Phoenix, coming off the bench and eventually holding onto the starting point guard spot and becoming a fan favorite with his clutch performances at the Garden.
Nevertheless, following a back injury and with Kyrie Irving demanding a trade, Danny Ainge decided Thomas’ stint as Celtic was over, sending him to their biggest rivals in the East: the Cavs. Thomas had left it all on the hardwood for Boston and had even played on a playoff matchup hours after his sister had passed away, and this was a very harsh move by Ainge, but it seems like it has paid off for them.
1. Miami Heat: Letting Wade Walk Away
Dwyane Wade was the ultimate face of the Miami Heat franchise, a player that had been a major star during the team’s all three NBA Championships and even such an unselfish player that he had never complained about not being the best-paid player in the roster despite being by far the most important player in franchise history.
Wade considered Pat Riley’s salary offer insulting and decided to play for his hometown Bulls, a team that pretty much overpaid a lot for his services just to eventually buy him out after a failed season. Gladly, after a terrible stint with the Cavs, he’s right back where he should have never left in the first place, with Riley righting his wrong by pursuing him in this year’s trade deadline.