As we look behind on this year’s crazy trade deadline, we can’t help but to think a lot is going to chance going forward, with teams like the Cleveland Cavaliers being extremely aggressive in their pursuit for top-notch talent.
Obviously, some teams always get the best out of a deal, but there have been some times in history where both sides wind up on the winning side of a move, something that doesn’t happen quite often.
Some trades are about making the team more competitive for the present, while others are looking ahead to the future or just letting aging players go to play for a contending team while they still can.
Today, we’re going to let you know about the top 10 best trades that have gone through over the past 10 years.
10. Andrew Bogut for Monta Ellis
Monta Ellis wasn’t comfortable with the Golden State Warriors and their offensive scheme, stating that he deserved way more shots than Stephen Curry because he was better than him, so the team eventually dealt him to the Bucks where he kind of stalled, while they landed the rim protector the team so desperately craved.
This trade seems kind of irrelevant, but truth to be told, it paved the way for the Golden State Warriors dominance we see nowadays, letting Stephen Curry flourish as the greatest shooter in the history of the game.
9. Jimmy Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves
It’s still pretty early to say this trade will go down as one of the best in NBA history, but truth to be told, both sides were on the winning end of this deal that sent Jimmy Butler back to play under Tom Thibodeau’s tutelage with the Timberwolves.
Minnesota became an instant contender upon Butler’s arrival, while the Bulls landed their young core to kick-start their rebuild on Kris Dunn, Zach LaVine and the pick they used to get Lauri Markkanen, a move that has already paid off for both franchises.
8. Gerald Wallace for Damian Lillard
Gerald Wallace was an aging veteran whose better years were far behind him, but that didn’t stop the Brooklyn Nets from doing what they do best: Bad moves, trading for Wallace while parting ways with Mehmet Okur, Shawne Williams and a 2012 first round pick that wind up being Damian Lillard.
While Portland needed to get something out of Gerald Wallace while they still could, they made things even better by landing their All-Star point guard and ultimate franchise leader, that immediately took the league for assault during his Rookie of the Year campaign.
7. Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Clippers
With Chris Paul desperate to get away from New Orleans in order to finally end his playoff curse, everybody in the league was trying to grab him, with the Lakers being the suited destination until the league decided to veto the move at the last second.
Nonetheless, Paul landed in LA anyway, only to play for the city rivals. This move made the Clippers part ways with Eric Gordon, Al-Farouq Aminu, Chris Kaman and a pick, while Paul led “Lob City” to several playoff runs.
6. Garnett, Pierce and Terry to the Brooklyn Nets
This trade was yet another example of Danny Ainge’s mastermind, as he flat out robbed the Brooklyn Nets while they tried to make a run in the playoffs with the acquisitions of the trio veterans and DJ white, sending Kris Humphries, Gerald Wallace, MarShon Brooks, Kris Joseph, Keith Bogans and three first-round draft picks (2014, 2016, 2018) with the right to swap picks in 2017.
While the washed out players Brooklyn got didn’t do much to help the team’s struggles, those 3 first round picks helped Boston become the best team in the Eastern Conference, landing James Young, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum via Draft while using the remaining pick to get Kyrie Irving from the Cavs. Wow.
5. Andrew Wiggins for Kevin Love
This move is the one that put the Cleveland Cavaliers back to relevance amidst LeBron James homecoming, sending Kevin Love to the Cavs to form the big three with James and Kyrie and make an instant finals run, winning a Championship on their second season.
Andrew Wiggins went on and became a key element in Minnesota’s young core, and even though Anthony Bennett was a major bust, they’ve got a hell of a scorer that has All-Star potential, while the Cavs dominated for 3 full seasons.
4. Pau Gasol to the Los Angeles Lakers
The Gasol brother swap was fundamental for both the Los Angeles Lakers and the Memphis Grizzlies, as Memphis was struggling to compete but found their franchise cornerstone on Marc Gasol, whose rights were owned by LA.
On the other side of the trade, Pau went on to help Kobe Bryant take the Lakers back to their dominant ways following the post Shaquille O’Neal era, making 3 NBA Finals and winning a couple of them with the Black Mamba.
3. James Harden to the Houston Rockets
Sam Presti has never hesitated to do a lot of bold moves, and one of the boldest he ever did was to let James Harden go because he wasn’t willing to pay him what he thought he deserved, leaning towards extending Serge Ibaka as he felt it would be better for the organization.
Considering how well Ibaka fared with Oklahoma, it wasn’t a bad deal for the Thunder, but the fact that the Rockets found their franchise player via trade make him one of the most influential moves of the decade. Also, this was a huge deal that involved Kevin Martin, Jeremy Lamb, Daequan Cook, Cole Aldrich and Lazard Hayward.
2. George Hill for Kawhi Leonard
This deal just keeps paying off for the San Antonio Spurs, as besides Kawhi, San Antonio also landed Davis Bertans, who’s been on a roll for Popovich’s squad. Landing Leonard was a very risky move by Popovich, especially if it meant parting ways with such a great defensive combo guard as Hill.
The Pacers landed their starting point guard and he was able to make a couple of great playoffs run, while San Antonio landed the best two way player in the league and the guy that was the main responsible for their last title against the Miami Heat.
1. LeBron James to the Miami Heat
Even though most people think LeBron just signed with the Miami Heat, this deal was actually a sign and trade (for 2011 2nd Round Pick, 2012 2nd Round Pick, 2013 1st Round Pick and 2016 1st Round Pick), following James’ unorthodox way of announcing that he was “taking his talents to South Beach” that created mayhem all over the state of Ohio.
This deal would create a legacy for the Heat, featuring Wade, Bosh and the aforementioned James, leading Miami to Eastern Conference dominance and a couple of NBA Championships, and this move has to be the most influential we’ve seen over the last decade in the Association.