If Twitter existed during the entirety of the NBA, some particular GMs would be torn apart by passionate fans throwing insults and bashing their latest move. When an NBA team makes deal, they strike to find the best value possibly while giving up the least value possible. The managers negotiate and settle on a deal that they both believe benefits each other, and they go their separate ways; but it does not always work like that. Sometimes, these GMs mess up and make a mistake, usually a large, inescapable mistake due to the use of social media today, but a big mistake nonetheless. Take for example, the Dwight Howard four-team megadeal. Not a single team involved came away benefiting significantly, but four general managers were able to put their heads together and work out a deal they thought worked for everyone in it.
This list looks to take a look at these trades, where both teams ended up having more damage done than good, and examine what these GMs were thinking. Luckily, names such as LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, and Tim Duncan are not on this list, as a GM trading one of those guys would likely not have a pretty story to tell.
Here at TheSportster, we have compiled a list featuring NBA trades which were bad for both (or more) teams involved. Enjoy!
15 Steve Nash To The Los Angeles Lakers
One of the parts of the most infamous failed "superteams" of all-time, the Nash deal with the Suns ended up being a dud for both teams. The New Age Showtime Lakers, consisting of Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, and Dwight Howard, were supposed to make multiple Finals Runs and contend with the Thunder, Spurs, and Heat, but they fell apart shortly into the season with injuries and not living up to expectations.
All four players, especially Nash, were dealing with their own injuries, and the timing was never right for this team to make a serious playoff push.
The Suns, on the other hand, got four draft picks from the Lakers, but these picks were used as trade bait and amounted to players such as Brandon Knight and Brandan Wright, two below-average guys with similar – and rhyming – names.
14 Gilbert Arenas To The Magic
Gilbert Arenas, a few-time All-Star in the NBA, and Rashard Lewis, a solid NBA player in his prime who had a lengthy career, were exchanged between the Orlando Magic and Washington Wizards. The Magic traded for Arenas after making few deadline deals, and the Wizards were looking to retool, so Arenas was on the block. At the time, Arenas was a 20+ PPG scorer who provided valuable playmaking and could score in bunches, and they traded him, straight up, for Rashard Lewis.
This seems like robbery for the Magic, but Arenas only ended up being average at his best for them, and only played for one season with Orlando.
For the Wizards, Rashard Lewis was solid, but was not an All-Star and certainly not the best they the Washington Wizards front office could've gotten for a star (at the time) in Gilbert Arenas.
13 Ricky Rubio To The Jazz
This trade was during the hectic 2017 NBA offseason, and due to its recency, it could end up working out for both teams, but it still could fail miserably. So far, the Jazz having a backcourt with Rubio hasn't been the best. They're 10th in the West and have taken a significant step back without Gordon Hayward, even with Donovan Mitchell playing like a star. On the Timberwolves side of the deal, they got a lottery protected 1st round pick, and with how the Jazz are looking, it could be a few years before the Timberwolves get that pick. While this wasn't an absolutely horrible deal for the teams involved, it's fair to say neither team won the deal. Both teams could've gottten more for what they traded if they had looked elsewhere, and both teams could currently be in a better position.
12 Kendrick Perkins To The Thunder
During the trade deadline time during the 2011 season, seven years ago from this year's deadline, the Oklahoma City Thunder traded Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic for Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson. While Danny Ainge has been absolutely brilliant for the Boston Celtics since the big trade with the Nets, this move was a head scratcher. Perkins was young at the time, and provided a nice spark outside the Big Three for the Celtics.
Ainge believed acquiring Green made the team better, however, considering that a team as stacked as them did not reach another Finals, it's hard to reason with that.
On OKC's side, there's a reason that nearly every Thunder fan hates Kendrick Perkins. He played terribly for the Thunder, did not live up to expectations, and became a fan favorite NBA meme.
11 Deron Williams To The Brooklyn Nets
After missing out on some big time free agents, the Brooklyn Nets were desperate for some All-Star caliber talent. They pulled the trigger on a blockbuster deal where they dealt Derrick Favors, Devin Harris, and two first-rounders. The Jazz only gave up Deron Williams. On paper, this sounds great for both teams. The Nets getting a needed star, the Jazz get a young guy and picks. However, it's more complex than that.
Deron Williams fell off a cliff with the Brooklyn Nets, and the Jazz picks, such as Enes Kanter, are no longer on the team.
Meanwhile, Derrick Favors is an ideal player in today's NBA, but it's not like he became a superstar either. He's a slower, clunkier power forward playing alongside a rim-protecting center. This deal is one that at the time, fans generally were happy with and thought was fair for both teams, but not everything works out the way we expect.
10 Carmelo Anthony To The Knicks
One of the bigger trades in recent memory, the Carmelo "coming home" trade is one of the most infamous trades in NBA history. Not only do Nuggets fans dislike Melo for wanting to leave them, the trade didn't really do much for any of the teams involved.
The Knicks were unable to build a championship contending team around Carmelo, and Denver only got role players and one nice piece in Danilo Gallinari.
They also got some picks, however the picks never amounted to much. So, the Denver Nuggets broke up with their superstar player and in return got four players and some picks, while the Knicks sacrificed it all to get that much needed superstar. While Carmelo did provide some good years for the Knicks and was adored by the fans, the Knicks could've been better off by trading the pieces involved in the trade separately.
9 Lance Stephenson To The Grizzlies
The Clippers traded Lance Stephenson for Jeff Green back during the 2015-16 trade deadline. The Clippers were having a great season and needed a combo forward to fit into their rotation, and were willing to trade Lance in order to acquire Green. The Grizzlies needed another guard to fill in their rotation and make plays when Conley is off the floor. Unfortunately, this traded ended up doing more harm than good for both teams. Jeff Green played pretty terribly for the Clippers, and Lance Stephenson is, well, still Lance Stephenson. The Grizzlies also acquired a first-round pick from the Clippers, but the pick did not amount to much as it was a very late first-rounder. While the trade would've been perfect if both Green and Stephenson returned to their "prime" forms, but both were in a unfortunate slump during their careers at this time.
8 Rudy Gay Traded To The Raptors
Back in the 2012-13 NBA season, the Memphis Grizzlies finally cut ties with Rudy Gay and traded him to the Raptors. They gave up Rudy Gay, the Raptors gave up Ed Davis and Jose Calderon, and the Pistons gave up Tayshaun Prince and Austin Daye. In return, Toronto got Gay, the Pistons got Calderon, and the Grizzlies got Davis, Daye, Prince, and a second-round pick.
For the Raptors, Gay was an awkward fit alongside DeRozan, a fellow score-first, aggressive slashing wing, and did not mesh well with the team, only lasting for the second half of that season.
For the Grizzlies, they either eventually got rid off or let go in free agency everyone they got, and for the Pistons, Jose Calderon left them. This trade, looking back at it, doesn't make much sense, but at the time, it seemed like the right deal for these teams.
7 The Dwight Howard Megadeal
One of the biggest and most infamous trades ever in the history of the NBA, the Dwight Howard "megadeal" was a four-team trade where no team involved ended up getting significantly better. It involved the Magic, the Lakers, the 76ers, and the Nuggets, and players like Dwight Howard, Andre Iguodala, and Andrew Bynum. Bynum was sent to the Philadelphia 76ers, Andre Iguodala was sent to the Denver Nuggets, Dwight Howard was sent to the Los Angeles Lakers, and countless picks were sent to the Orlando Magic. As you can tell, none of those picks ended up becoming stars for the Magic, Iggy left the Nuggets after a couple of seasons, Bynum was too hurt to even play for the 76ers, and you all know how Dwight performed on the Lakers with Kobe: he did absolutely horrible. This trade took months for the GMs to complete but it never really "upgraded" their teams.
6 Penny Hardaway Traded To The Knicks
Back in the early 2000s, after Penny Hardaway had left the Magic and was on the Suns, suffering from injuries that were slowly derailing his career, Penny was traded to the New York Knicks. He was included in a package from the Phoenix Suns that was made up of Stephon Marbury, also known as "Starbury," and himself. In return, the Suns received Antonio McDyess, Howard Eisley, Charlie Ward, two second-round picks, and two first-round picks.
This trade was not very good for the Suns, as they got rid of a solid scorer and Penny for a bunch of role players and some picks which never amounted to much.
For the Knicks, Marbury put them in that awkward "contending for a playoff spot but going to get swept in the first round" area. The Knicks would've been better off just tanking and rebuilding, as the mid-2000s draft classes were loaded with talent such as LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, and Chris Paul.
5 Ersan Ilyasova To The 76ers
Back at the start of the 2016-17 NBA season, the 76ers traded Jerami Grant, an athletic, young, combo forward to the Oklahoma City Thunder, for Ersan Ilyasova. The 76ers made the deal to get some needed perimeter shooting, and the Thunder wanted a talented young guy. The teams made the swap and were pretty lowkey about it, however, this trade wasn't really that great.
The 76ers, with the emergence of Dario Saric, didn't really have a need for Ilyasova anymore, and got rid of a young guy that they could've kept.
While the Sixers did get a pick in the trade, it is heavily protected and likely won't play out due to the Thunder being a great playoff team. For the Thunder, giving up a pick is not good and Grant doesn't receive a ton of time due to the acquisitions of Carmelo Anthony and Paul George.
4 Danilo Gallinari To The Clippers
Danilo Gallinari, an NBA veteran with all-around scoring abilities, is the small forward the Clippers could've used in the prime of lob city. Los Angeles agreed to a sign and trade where they received Gallinari, the Nuggets received a second-round pick, and the Hawks received Jamal Crawford and Diamond Stone. For the Clippers, this season has been up and down for them and now that they have traded their superstar Blake Griffin, Gallinari doesn't fit their timeline as they are about to rebuild. For the Nuggets, they get a second-round pick for Gallinari, which isn't great because they could've gotten much more if they traded him at the trade deadline. For the Hawks, they had to buyout Crawford's contract and ended up getting rid of Diamond Stone. They did get a first-round pick, however the pick is projected to be a late first-rounder.
3 Roy Hibbert To The Charlotte Hornets
Any team that is trading for Roy Hibbert is losing. Last season, the Hornets decided to trade for Hibbert, as they had some bad contracts with Spencer Hawes and Miles Plumlee they wanted to get rid of. Hibbert would provide rim protection for them while Cody Zeller was hurt, and Hawes and Plumlee would provide depth for the Bucks. However, with Hibbert being off the Hornets shortly after this trade and the Bucks doing all they can to get rid of Plumlee and Hawes, this trade did not work out how these teams intended.
Looking back, it's hard to find the reasoning as to why these teams made these trades.
The Hornets could've just used the guys they had as backups, and the Bucks didn't have to take on the contracts of Hawes and Plumlee.
2 Scottie Pippen To The Trail Blazers
After his time in Chicago and a failed superteam in Houston, Scottie Pippen was traded to the Portland Trail Blazers. The Houston Rockets team, featuring Charles Barkley and Hakeem Olajuwon, was not a good fit for Pippen, and they looked to get rid of him. Scottie liked Portland's team, and so the Rockets traded him for Stacey Augmon, Carlos Rodgers, Brian Shaw, Ed Gray, Kelvin Cato, and Walt Williams. For the Rockets, they began a rebuild shortly after this and none of these guys were a part of the rebuild. They simply could've gotten better things, such as core type of players or picks even, than what they got. The Trail Blazers were looking to compete and thought Pippen would help them out, however he was only good enough to get them to the playoffs, and not past the various opponents they faced.
1 Shaquille O'Neal To The Suns
Shaquille O'Neal, one of the greatest players to every play and arguably the most dominant, was traded in the 2007-2008 season at the trade deadline to the Phoenix Suns for Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks. The Suns wanted to try a Shaquille O'Neal and Steve Nash pairing, and the Heat wanted an athletic wing to pair with Dwyane Wade.
Unfortunately, Shaq never quite fit in with the Phoenix Suns, as his low post play did not fit in with the Suns' identity.
On the Heat side of this deal, Shawn Marion played good but he did not push them over the edge to another championship, which the Heat reached two seasons prior. The Heat should've kept the center who contributed to the championship Heat team, and the Suns should've held onto Marion who fit their team and scheme nicely.