One of the things we love the most about the National Basketball Association is that even though you may expect some things to happen due to the constant rumours the media leaks, is that you’ll always be in the position to be amazed at any last second move that may happen, and surprising trades are always around the corner.
The NBA has seen some really breathtaking trades ever since it began and every team’s front office is constantly working around the clock to try and do what’s best for them to compete either now or in the future, although some fans won’t always appreciate their efforts.
During this past decade, we’ve seen some moves that nobody ever saw coming, either via draft, free agency and even more shocking: via trade, with some blockbuster moves taking the league for assault and pretty much-knocking everybody off their feet.
Today, we’re going to remember 5 of the most impressive and surprising moves, on the verge of that recent Kyrie Irving and Isaiah Thomas swap the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers recently did, the first time in NBA history when a couple of guys that come off 25+ ppg seasons get traded for each other.
5. Derrick Rose To The New York Knicks
Just when it seemed like the Chicago Bulls were finally ready to fully trust their former MVP, they just decided to hand the keys of the car to Jimmy Butler while sending Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah, the two centerpieces of their successful core to the New York Knicks in exchange for Robin Lopez, Jerian Grant and Jose Calderon, with the Bulls also sending away Tony Wroten, a 2nd rounder and Justin Holiday.
This trade didn’t fare quite well for any of the sides involved, though, as Derrick wasn’t nearly as good as expected and was also reluctant to play the triangle offense, Noah was horrid, injured and suspended and the Bulls didn’t get much use for Grant, although Lopez had a very decent first season at the Windy City.
4. Andrew Wiggins To The Minnesota Timberwolves
After over a year and a half of hype surrounding the Canadian All-Star prospect Andrew Wiggins, the Cleveland Cavaliers managed to land the 1st overall pick once again, but with LeBron James announcing his decision to go back to his former team, the franchise got into instant win-now mode and plans had to change for pretty much everyone involved.
So, out of the blue, there was no place for one of the most exciting prospects in the NBA, while the Timberwolves were keen to kickstart their rebuild and part ways with their lone All-Star: Kevin Love. With this move, the Wolves also acquired a former 1st overall pick in Anthony Bennett, with Thad Young also involved, while they had to send Shved and Mbah a Moute to the Sixers. Surprising or not, this trade was a delight for both squads, as Love was a key member of the Cavs’ Championship squad while Wiggins is one of the centerpieces of their new young project also featuring Karl Anthony Towns.
3. Chris Paul To The Houston Rockets
When everybody was expecting Chris Paul to join the San Antonio Spurs to become their newest point guard for the future and finally break his curse to pursue his first ever NBA title, considering Tony Parker’s career is heading towards its end and apparently the Lo Angeles Clippers were also on the verge of losing All-Star power forward Blake Griffin.
And that’s when completely out of the blue, the Los Angeles Clippers and Houston Rockets announced a shocking sign-and-trade move that allowed Chris Paul to play alongside James Harden, while the Clippers would get Pat Beverly, Montrezl Harrell, Lou Williams, Sam Dekker, Darrun Hilliard, Kyle Wiltjer, DeAndre Liggins, a protected 1st rounder and cash considerations, a pretty fair trade for both sides that we just can’t wait to see how unveils this upcoming season.
2. Steve Nash To The Los Angeles Lakers
Nash had been one of the most consistent, reliable, durable and smart NBA point guards ever since his first couple of seasons, and with the Chris Paul trade to Los Angeles recently vetoed by the league, there was a desperate need for All-Star caliber talent to surround Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol with.
Of course, this one looked like an excellent move for the Buss family, but Nash wasn’t nearly as good as expected at the Staples Center, constantly dealing with nagging pains and struggling to develop any time of chemistry with his newest teammates. On top of that, the Lakers had to part ways with 4 Draft picks (2 1st rounders and a couple of 2nd rounders) for a guy that was only able to play in a combined 65 games through 3 seasons.
1. James Harden To The Houston Rockets
And last but not least, we get that infamous James Harden to the Houston Rockets deal, as Harden was coming off his best season, with both parties failing to reach an agreement on a contract extension due to the Thunder’s determination to keep Serge Ibaka on board instead of working out a deal with their Sixth Man of the Year and one of the most thrilling offensive prospects in the Association.
In this move, the Thunder acquired Jeremy Lamb, Kevin Martin, a couple of 1st rounders and a 2nd rounder, while sending Harden, Cole Aldrich, Lazar Hayward and Daequan Cook to Houston. Needless to say, Oklahoma would wind up strongly regretting this move, while the Rockets would find their franchise player for the long term future in Harden.