Trades are commonplace in the NBA. Fans want to see their beloved teams get stronger, and trades offer the chance to make roster improvements fast.
There were times when a trade can be so lopsided. There were also times when one does make sense for both teams. It may not look to be that way at first, but its fairness manifested in the long run.
Here, we have compiled what we believe were the biggest win-win trades in NBA history.
Check the top 10 win-win trades in NBA history:
10. Jimmy Butler For Two Young Players, Pick (2017)
Minnesota Timberwolves Receive: Jimmy Butler and 2017 no. 16 pick (Justin Patton)
Chicago Bulls Receive: Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn, and 2017 no. 7 pick (Lauri Markkanen)
The Wolves get an established All-Star in Butler, but the Bulls receive a host of young players with a lot of upsides. Markkanen turned out to become one of the best rookies in his class, averaging 15.2 points and 7.5 rebounds last season.
9. Glen Rice For Alonzo Mourning (1995)
Charlotte Hornets Receive: Glen Rice, Matt Geiger, Khalid Reeves, and a 1996 first-round pick
Miami Heat Receive: Alonzo Mourning, Pete Myers, and LeRon Ellis
Charlotte acquired one of the best shooters in the history of the game while Miami got one of the best centers as well. Both Rice and Mourning improved their respective teams after the trade, making it a win-win deal.
8. Paul George For Victor Oladipo (2017)
Oklahoma City Thunder Receives: Paul George
Indiana Pacers Receive: Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis
Nobody expected this trade to be fair. George was a four-time All-Star at that time. However, both Oladipo and Sabonis improved so much since moving to Indiana. Oladipo increased his average from 15.9 to 23.1 points per game as he became the Pacers’ new main man.
7. Carmelo Anthony In Multi-player, Three-team Deal (2011)
New York Knicks Receive: Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Corey Brewer, Renaldo Balkman, Shelden Williams, and Anthony Carter
Denver Nuggets Receive: Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, Timofey Mozgov, Raymond Felton, and New York’s 2014 first-round pick (with the option to swap 2016 first-round picks), 2012 second-round pick, and 2013 second-round pick
Timberwolves Receive: Anthony Randolph and Eddy Curry
The Knicks received one of the best players in the league at that time while the Nuggets ended up getting Jamal Murray as the 7th pick in the 2016 draft. The Timberwolves were there just for salary matching purposes.
6. Vince Carter For Antawn Jamison (1998)
Toronto Raptors Receive: Vince Carter
Golden State Warriors Receive: Antawn Jamison
The Raptors and Warriors virtually exchanged first-round picks in the 1998 draft. Both teams ended up with a player who best suited each one. Carter became one of the best players for the Toronto franchise while Golden State had Jamison during arguably the best years of his career.
5. Kevin Johnson For Larry Nance (1988)
Phoenix Suns Receive: Kevin Johnson, Mark West, Tyrone Corbin, and 1988 no. 14 pick (Dan Majerle) and no. 38 pick (Dean Garrett)
Cavaliers Receive: Larry Nance, Mike Sanders, and 1988 no. 22 pick (Randolph Keys)
Johnson became one of the best point guards in the game after getting out of Mark Price’s shadow in Cleveland, helping the Suns for many seasons. Meanwhile, the Cavs get an established star and a hometown favorite in Nance.
4. Bill Russell For Ed Macauley, Cliff Hagan (1956)
Boston Celtics Receive: The 1956 No. 2 pick (Bill Russell)
St. Louis Hawks Receive: Ed Macauley and Cliff Hagan
All three players ended up in the Hall of Fame. Macauley and Hagan delivered a championship for the Hawks. Russell got the Celtics 11.
3. Pau Gasol For Marc Gasol (2008)
Lakers Receive: Pau Gasol and the 2010 second-round draft pick
Memphis Grizzlies Receive: Kwame Brown, Javaris Crittenton, Aaron McKie, and 2007 no. 48 pick (Marc Gasol), 2008 first-round pick, and 2010 first-round pick
This was deemed as one of the most lopsided trades ever during that time. The Lakers get the older Gasol and won two titles with him. Eventually, Marc proved to be the better fit for the Grizzlies as the younger brother helped Memphis to become a force in the West for many years.
2. Kevin Love For Andrew Wiggins In A Three-team Deal (2014)
Cavaliers Receive: Kevin Love
Timberwolves Receive: Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett, and Thaddeus Young
Philadelphia 76ers Receive: Luc Mbah a Moute, Alexey Shved, and Cleveland’s 2015 first-round pick
Cleveland took an established All-Star in Love. The former Most Improved Player helped the Cavs win its first and only NBA title so far in 2016. Meanwhile, Wiggins helped Minnesota tank the season. The Timberwolves ended up acquiring Karl-Anthony Towns as the first pick in the 2015 draft.
1. Shaquille O’Neal To The Miami Heat (2004)
Heat Receives: Shaquille O’Neal
Lakers Receive: Lamar Odom, Caron Butler, Brian Grant, and a 2006 first-round draft pick
Perhaps the best win-win NBA trade of all time, although it may have not looked that way just then. Miami received the most dominant player in the NBA at that time. It resulted in the Heat’s first championship.
Shaq and Kobe’s chemistry in L.A. was broken and the Lakers needed to ship the big man out for the best possible deal. They got it with this one. The best part of the trade was Odom, who helped Bryant win two more championships in 2009 and 2010.