The NBA is full of surprises, and even though us diehard fans are constantly looking for information regarding our favorite teams and players, agents and general managers are always 5 steps ahead of us.
With the salary cap rising and veteran stars aging, there are always trades and free agency signings that may seem unbelievable for most of us and that create mayhem in social media, and this year wasn’t the exception to that rule.
This is something that has happened ever since the dawn of times, but it’s becoming more of a trend lately. That’s why today, we’re going to let you know about the most surprising moves in the league since 2010.
2010 NBA Season
LeBron James Decides To Join Miami Heat
Following yet another strike on the goal of bringing a Championship to the City of Cleveland, LeBron James put together a huge drama and was involved in one of the most infamous free agency moves with his so called “the decision”.
That decision ended with him stating that he was taking his talents to South Beach to sign with the Miami Heat, creating the first of his superteams alongside Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade. At least, he’d be able to lead them to back-to-back Championships before coming back home and winning one for the Cavs as well.
2011 NBA Season
Carmelo Anthony Traded to New York
The fact that Melo was traded wasn’t a surprise at all, but that huge blockbuster move had countless implications in the league. Also, with him set to join Amar’e Stoudemire, Knicks fans had a reason to be hopeful and looking forward to the playoffs for a very long time.
Melo had outgrown the Nuggets and wanted to get out ASAP, so the Knicks put together a package consisting of Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari, Raymond Felton, Timofey Mozgov and a 1st round pick in return for Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Shelden Williams, Anthony Carter and Renaldo Balkman.
2012 NBA Season
Dwight Howard Traded to Los Angeles
At the time, Dwight Howard was considered to be the best big man in the league, and his addition was going to provide a huge two-way punch for a Lakers that dreamt of a second coming of the Shaq-Kobe era.
Dwight had been beaten in the Finals by those same Los Angeles Lakers, and there were as much as 4 teams involved in the blockbuster trade. Orlando got Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington, Nikola Vucevic, Moe Harkless, Josh McRoberts, Christian Eyenga and multiple picks, while the Sixers got Andrew Bynum and Jason Richardson. Andre Iguodala was traded to Denver, and the Lakers also got Earl Clark and Chris Duhon.
2013 NBA Season
James Harden Traded to Houston
Coming off a disappointing performance in the Finals, James Harden was moved by the Oklahoma City Thunder in one of the most shocking moves of the decade, considering he was yet to reach his prime and was the reigning 6th Man of the Year.
Even so, both parties were unable to agree on an extension as the Thunder wanted to save money to keep Serge Ibaka around, their top priority at the time. So, at the end of the day, Sam Presti wind up packaging Harden with Cole Aldrich, Daequan Cook and Lazar Hayward in return for Kevin Martin, Jeremy Lamb, a couple of 1st round picks and a 2nd round pick.
2014 NBA Season
Boston - Brooklyn Trade
This one may not be the most surprising move of all, but it was one of the most influential and, by far, the dumbest move any franchise has ever made. Out of desperation to enter win-now mode, the Nets would go on to jeopardize their entire future in order to land some aging and borderline washed out veterans.
Danny Ainge, being the mastermind he is, didn’t hesitate to kickstart a rebuild considering how absurd the trade package the Nets were willing to put together was. Eventually, Brooklyn got Paul Pierce, Jason Terry, Kevin Garnett and DJ White. Also, they got Kyle Kuzma and traded him to the Lakers along with Brook Lopez. On the other hand, Boston landed Keith Bogans, MarShon Brooks, Kris Humphries, Kris Joseph, Gerald Wallace, and several picks that wind up being James Young, Jaylen Brown, a 1st overall pick (traded to get Jayson Tatum at 3rd) and a pick they used to trade for Kyrie Irving.
2015 NBA Season
Phoenix Suns Trade Dragic and Thomas
Back in 2015, it seemed like the Phoenix Suns were finally onto something, and had developed a three-headed monster in the backcourt that was entertaining as hell, featuring Eric Bledsoe, Goran Dragic and Isaiah Thomas.
Obviously, the three of them being such ball-dominant players, at least one of them had to go, but it was pretty surprising that the Suns got rid of not one, but the two of them, just to eventually trade away Bledsoe, up to the point where they haven’t been able to find a starting playmaker.
2016 NBA Season
Kevin Durant Decides To Join Golden State Warriors
When the Oklahoma City Thunder had the Dubs against the ropes by leading 3-1 but got beat up anyways, we all thought Durant and Westbrook were going to come back angrier and scarier than ever and that they were keen to finally take the Thunder to an NBA Championship, but obviously, KD had different plans.
On a move that wasn’t just shocking, but also vastly disappointing, Durant decided to completely bail out on his teammates, the city and the organization in order to pursue personal glory and join a team that had just won 73 games without him. That was the softest and most surprising move we’ve seen in the decade, but it has truly paid out for him.
2017 NBA Season
Paul George Traded To Oklahoma & Kyrie Irving Traded To Boston
The fact that Paul George was traded was no surprise to anybody, considering he had been reportedly in talks with the Lakers and that he wasn’t feeling comfortable with the Pacers, but the fact that Sam Presti and the Thunder traded away Sabonis and Oladipo in order to take a gamble on him was pretty bold, gladly, it worked out.
On the other hand, Kyrie Irving demanding a trade was something that came completely out of the blue. We were clueless about his so-called desire to be a team’s go-to-guy. Moreover, the fact that the Cavs traded him to their biggest competition in the Eastern Conference was also quite shocking. Now, Uncle Drew wants to stay put at the Garden for a very long time.
2018 NBA Season
DeMarcus Cousins To Warriors & Kawhi Leonard Traded To Toronto
When DeMarcus Cousins stated that he intended to sign with the Golden State Warriors on a 1 year 5 million deal, we were all let in disbelief. Not only he had bailed out on the Pelicans, but he gave up a lot of money just to finally make his long-awaited playoff debut by piggyback riding the Dubs.
On the other hand, after all the drama surrounding Kawhi Leonard and his situation, it was pretty surprising to see that the Toronto Raptors were willing to risk their entire future to get a one year rental on him and hope he resigns. Also, they really mistreated DeMar DeRozan, not to mention what Leonard ditto San Antonio.