If you want to build a successful NBA franchise, you definitely have to gamble and take a lot of risky bets to try and make the most of the salary caps, your picks and pretty much every single asset you own in the present and foreseeable future.
Needless to say, when you take a risk and trust one guy instead of the other, either to take the reins of the team right away, contribute off the bench or lead the franchise into the future, you could either fail or succeed, and that’s what makes General Management such a vital role in the sport.
Over the course of this decade, we’ve seen a lot of odd trades come and go in the league, some of them being ridiculous at best. So today, we’ll take a look at the top 5 worst trade in the Association since 2010.
5. Rajon Rondo to the Dallas Mavericks
Not so long ago, Mark Cuban and Rick Carlisle were rubbing their hands as they had acquired one of the elite point guards in the league, Rajon Rondo, who wasn’t likely to re-sign with the Boston Celtics, but they didn’t have much interest in keeping him anyways.
So, the Mavs sent Brandan Wright, Jameer Nelson, a couple of picks and Jae Crowder to the TD Garden in order to land the All-Star, only to watch him mightily struggle to adapt and have a lot of vocal encounters with Rick Carlisle, even faking injuries just to be kept in the doghouse and not play for Dallas at the end of the season.
4. Gerald Wallace to the Brooklyn Nets
With the Nets set to move from New Jersey to Brooklyn, the future looked bright for the franchise with Deron Williams running the Nets' offense alongside Brook Lopez, so they wanted to add a little bit of defense in the backcourt and pulled the trigger on the last minute deal to bring Gerald Wallace aboard in exchange for Shawne Williams, Mehmet Okur and a 1st rounder.
Needless to say, Wallace didn’t provide anything for the Brooklyn Nets and that 1st round pick they gave up wound up being Damian Lillard. Perhaps they wouldn’t have chosen Lillard anyways, but they practically wrapped him in gift paper and sent him to RIP City in exchange for a rental on a washed out forward.
3. Andrea Bargnani to the New York Knicks
The Knicks have made some very questionable moves over the course of the past few seasons, but actually trading for Andrea Bargnani, one of the worst 1st overall picks in NBA history, has to be the worst decision in their franchise’s recent history.
Bargnani isn’t even in the league nowadays, being a mediocre rebounder, a horrid defender and a lousy three-point shooter. On top of that, the Knicks actually handed the Raptors Marcus Camby, Steve Novak, a 1st round pick and a couple of 2nd rounders just to watch him airball threes and be a huge liability for a couple of seasons Knicks fans had to watch him ball.
2. James Harden to the Houston Rockets
Well, this one’s a tricky one, as everybody could understand Presti’s determination to hand a big paycheck to Serge Ibaka and his elite rim protection and defense instead of trusting the Sixth Man of the Year and great offensive shooting guard, a young James Harden.
Of course, nobody actually expected The Beard to become the huge beast he’s become nowadays, and perhaps it would’ve been a huge mess to pair him with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook with all three ball hoggers having to share touches, but at least they could’ve had way more than just Kevin Martin and Jeremy Lamb, although they did also get 2 first round picks and a 2nd rounder in the deal.
1. Brooklyn’s future to the Boston Celtics
This may seem exaggerated, but it’s nowhere far from the truth, as the Brooklyn Nets completely gave away their future to try and make a run at the championship, bringing Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry to the Barclays Center.
This would definitely be a great idea if it wasn’t for the fact that they were already quite old, and that they actually gave Danny Ainge a lot of expiring deals and 3 first round picks and the right to swap picks in 2017. In fact, after having a horrid season, they watched their 1st overall pick slip through their hands as they still owed it to the Celtics, making it one of the worst and most stupid trades in the history of competitive sports.