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Top 10 Craziest NBA Trade Rumors of All Time

In the NFL, there aren’t very many blockbuster trades. In the MLB, there are a lot of lopsided deals that involve superstar players. In the NBA, however, trades happen seemingly every year that involve one superstar heading to one team while another star gets shipped back in return. It’s what makes it the greatest sports league in terms of transactions to talk about for weeks on end.

In the age of social media where it seems everyone has a source or an insider, trade rumors constantly fly around in every sport, but back in the day, rumors could simply spread by word of mouth, or something leaking to the press.

Some of the biggest free agency moves and trades in the NBA are covered for weeks by the press and the details are leaked almost instantly. We all remember just how frantic the coverage of Lebron James's free agency was both in 2010 and this past summer. Five years ago, speculation and/or rumors ranged from Lebron going to Miami, Chicago, New York or even out west with either the Clippers or Lakers.

Most of these trades happened (or at least get sent in for league approval), while others are just rumors that might not ever be confirmed. It’s insane to imagine what the NBA would have looked like in the 1990s, 2000s and now if some of the craziest rumors had ever come to fruition. Had these come to life, we would practically be living in an alternate universe.

Just imagine if the Portland Trail Blazers were the dynasty team of the 1990s instead of the Chicago Bulls, or if the Los Angeles Clippers would have landed Michael Jordan for a bunch of draft picks. Those are just some of the examples of the craziest trade rumors that never came true, and here is the full list of the 10 craziest NBA trade rumors of all time.

10 Isiah Thomas for Tony Campbell and Tim McCormick

via nbcprobasketballtalk.com

9 Chris Paul and Emeka Okafor to Portland for 4 Players

Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

8 Stephen Curry for Amar’e Stoudemire

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

7 Charles Barkley for James Worthy and Elden Campbell

via foxsports.com

6 Ralph Sampson for Clyde Drexler and no.2 Overall Pick

via complex.com

5 Scottie Pippen for Shawn Kemp

via mentalfloss.com

4 Scottie Pippen for Tracy McGrady

via complex.com

3 Larry Bird for Chuck Person and no.2 Overall Pick

via redsarmy.com

 

If you ask the fine people of the Hoosier state who their favorite native son is, a lot of them would say it’s Larry Bird. A lot of that has to do with the fact that Bird was a small town boy playing the state’s favorite sport at a school that had no rivals (such as Indiana, Purdue or Notre Dame). The Pacers wanted to bring Bird back to his home state by making a reported offer in 1988 that would send Chuck Person and the number two overall pick to Boston. The Celtics turned it down and the Pacers instead got Rik Smits for 12 seasons instead of Bird for three.

2 Kobe Bryant to the Bulls for 4 Players

via amazonaws.com

1 Michael Jordan to the Clippers for 5 Players (Of Chicago's Choice)

via inallairness.com

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the Clippers were a miserable mess that couldn’t fill their arena if they were giving away tickets. Donald Sterling (remember him?) wanted to change that back in 1987 when he made an offer to the Chicago Bulls for Michael Jordan. Jordan wasn’t the superstar (yet) he ended up being, but still a good young player. The Clippers offered a king’s ransom, allowing the Bulls to select any five players or draft picks that they wanted. The Bulls reportedly almost made the trade, but pulled out at the last minute.

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Top 10 Craziest NBA Trade Rumors of All Time