Over the course of history, we’ve seen some crazy trades happen in the greatest league in competitive basketball, like Kobe Bryant heading to the Los Angeles Lakers or Carmelo Anthony landing at New York City.
Moreover, fans have been let without any slightest clue of what the hell was happening behind closed doors at least a hundred times in the history of the league when insiders let everybody know about those breaking news.
But even more surprisingly, the craziest move in the history of the game – yes, crazier than the time the Thunder traded James Harden away – wasn’t even orchestrated by an NBA General Manager.
Believe it or not, it was Jon Spoelstra – Erik Spoelstra’s father – the one that came up with one of the craziest NBA trades ever, him being a marketing guru and one of the smartest General Managers in the history of the game.
There have been some crazy trades throughout the history of the NBA. Some good, some bad, some just plain confusing. Among the trades that have baffled fans, there is one that stands out. It was devised by the legendary Jon Spoelstra, yes he’s the father of Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra. Spoelstra is known as a marketing genius and in 1983, he used that genius to pull off the craziest trade the NBA has ever seen.
Back in 1983, the Portland Trail Blazers were an average team, to say the least, averaging roughly 40 wins per seasons over a 3-year span. With the team looking to add a two-way point guard that could help them take a step forward, Don Buse’s name was the first one to pop in mind.
Buse was one of the best backcourt defenders in the league at the time, let alone the fact that he was a crafty playmaker. Problem was, how do you get a 2-time All-Star out of the Pacers without giving up any assets to try and stay competitive?
Well, at the time, Spoelstra was the Blazers’ GM and senior VP, while also being one of the greatest marketing masterminds in the history of basketball. So, when he set his eyes on Don Buse, you know he was bound to get him somehow.
Eventually, Buse would be dressed in a Blazers uniform, without the team giving away a single penny, pick or player, but how’s that even possible? Why would Indiana accept that kind of dumb deal?
The Pacers weren’t a competitive team at the time and had just recorded one winning season since joining the NBA 8 years before the trade, and the team was even up for sale during that very same 1983 campaign, but obviously, there were no takers as the team had no stars or fan base.
Enter Spoelstra, who offered himself as a trade asset in order to get Buse for the Blazers, with him set to take the reins of the Pacers and try to build a successful market at Indianapolis. To make things even crazier, it only took Jon Spoelstra a week with the team before the team was eventually sold, and the rest, as you know, is history.