In most of the NBA drafts throughout NBA history teams have traded their players that they drafted for other drafted players or money. Many teams in the present and past have drafted players and traded them during the draft to try to get better players and some teams have actually succeeded in ripping off the other team. It is really amazing to go back and see that a player that is currently an all-star got traded for someone that you have never heard of.
In this article I will be talking about teams that ended up doing terrible trades on draft day or a couple of weeks after draft day and losing their future all-star. It is no easy decision to trade your drafted player for another drafted player because you can never predict the outcome. The outcome usually is that a team with the good drafted player trades that drafted player away and gets screwed over. A great example of a player being drafted and traded on draft day was in the 1985 draft when the Cleveland Cavaliers picked Charles Oakley with their 9th pick and traded him to the Chicago Bulls for Ennis Whitley and Keith Lee. This was a pretty awful trade because Oakley went on to be a pretty good player while Keith Lee and Ennis Whitley never went on to amount to anything.
It is very stressful on draft day for GMs because they have to pick a player who they think will be good, and they have to decide whether or not to keep or trade that player for other players in the draft who they think are good. It usually is not their faults if they trade away someone who is a future All-Star for someone who is gonna be a bust because they could never predict the future and know that the person they’re trading is gonna be a star.
I will now be listing the Top 15 Worst Draft Pick Trades.
15. Rudy Gay
Rudy Gay was drafted in the 2006 draft with the 8th pick by the Houston Rockets and never got to wear red and white because he was traded right away to the Memphis Grizzlies. The Rockets did benefit from Battier in 2009 because he helped them on their playoff run to the Western Conference Semifinals against the Lakers where they ended losing.
It may have not been a complete bust, but it was a pretty big one since Battier is pretty large in size and that’s what the Grizzlies needed at the time. They did not need some point guard who would not do much for the team besides lead the team in scoring before being traded to the Toronto Raptors midway through the season.
14. Charles Oakley
In the 1985 draft Courtney Oakley was drafted 9th overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers and ended up getting traded right away for Keith Lee and Ennis Whitley. He was traded to the Chicago Bulls where he started his career and Oakley ended up getting traded a few more times in the future, but he had a pretty good career while Lee and Whitley did not. The Cavaliers got ripped off by the Bulls and they probably regretted ever trading away Oakley who did much more with his career than the other two players.
13. Nate Robinson
Nate Robinson was drafted in the first round by the Suns with 21st pick, but him and Quentin Richardson were traded from the Phoenix Suns to the New York Knicks and the Suns received Kurt Thomas and Dijon Thompson. This trade may have been better for the Suns, but Nate Robinson could have been a great asset for the Suns because of his point guard skills, which the Knicks ended up getting. Robinson could have been a much better point guard if he was never traded because Steve Nash could have made a great mentor to Robinson, and they would have been a great duo.
12. Eddie Griffin
With the seventh pick in the first round of the 2001 draft the Brooklyn (then in New Jersey) Nets drafted Eddie Griffin. Later that draft, they traded Griffin to the Houston Rockets for Richard Jefferson, Jason Collins, and Brandon Armstrong, which ended up backfiring on the Rockets very badly. This trade may have seemed great at the time, but it was awful because Griffin ended up not really playing much because he had to battle depression and his addiction to alcohol.
11. Antonio Davis for Jonathan Bender
Antonio Davis was a pretty good player for the Indiana Pacers, but was traded to the Toronto Raptors during the 1999 draft for the Raptors pick and they used that pick to draft Jonathan Bender. This trade pretty much cost the Pacers a championship because Bender was a non-factor during his time in Indiana, while Davis could have done a lot in the paint against the Los Angeles Lakers, who had Shaquille O’Neal.
Nene got drafted seventh overall in 2002 by the New York Knicks and got immediately traded with Marcus Camby and Mark Jackson to the Denver Nuggets. The Knicks received Antonio McDyess and the 25th overall pick, which they used to draft Frank Williams. McDyess only played 18 games before getting hurt and he was only averaging 8.4 ppg and Frank Williams only played three games before getting hurt and he was averaging only 2.9 ppg. Nene went onto to average 12.9 ppg and 7 rebounds per game.
9. Rajon Rondo
The Phoenix Suns drafted Rajon Rondo with their 21st pick of the first round in the 2006 draft and later traded Rondo to the Boston Celtics for money and their 2007 draft pick, then sold that draft pick to the Portland Trail Blazers. The Suns definitely regret trading away because Rondo went onto win a championship with the Celtics and has been voted into the All-Star game 4 times. Rondo also has several other awards and achievements so far in his NBA career and will continue to be a great point guard.
8. LaMarcus Aldridge
In the 2006 draft LaMarcus Aldridge was drafted 2nd overall by the Chicago Bulls, but the Portland Trail Blazers with their 4th pick chose Tyrus Thomas. Both teams decided that they had some second thoughts on their draft picks, so they decided to make a trade, as the Trail Blazers would receive Aldridge and a second round pick while the Bulls received Thomas and Viktor Khryapa. Aldridge went onto be a very talented center who averaged 18.0 ppg and 8.5 rebounds per game this season, while Thomas is in the D-League and never did anything for the Bulls.
7. Chris Webber
The Orlando Magic decided to use the number 1 pick in the first round to draft Chris Webber who got traded to the Golden State Warriors in exchange for Anfernee Hardaway and three first round draft picks. Webber went onto win Rookie of The Year, get into five All-Star games, and get picked five times to be on the All-NBA team. Hardaway was known for his height because he was a 6’7 point guard which is not very common, but Webber is a better player who should have never been traded away.
6. Ray Allen
The Minnesota Timberwolves used their 5th pick in the first round on Ray Allen in the 1996 draft. They then traded Allen to the Milwaukee Bucks for Stephon Marbury and a ’98 draft pick, but this trade was a pretty bad one because Allen went onto make a big name for himself by being an amazing three point shooter. Allen has won two championships, been in 10 All-Star games, holds the record for most three pointers ever made, and has many more achievements. Marbury did decent in throughout his career, but he was definitely no Ray Allen.
5. Dirk Nowitzki
Dirk Nowitzki the best international player of all time was drafted 9th overall in the 1998 draft by the Milwaukee Bucks. Before he even got to try on his jersey they traded him and Pat Garrity to the Dallas Mavericks for Robert Traylor, which was an awful trade because Traylor only played for Milwaukee for two years and in his six year career only averaged 4.8 ppg.
Notwitzki has averaged 22.0 ppg in his 18 year career and also has won a championship, has been named NBA Finals MVP, won a MVP award, has been in 13 All-Star games, has been picked four times to be on the All-NBA First Team, and many other honors.
4. Scottie Pippen
In the 1987 draft the Seattle SuperSonics used their 5th overall pick to draft Scottie Pippen who ended up getting traded away from the SuperSonics to the Chicago Bulls for the draft rights to Olden Polynice. No one could have foreseen how poorly this trade would actually back fire on Seattle because Pippen went on to become a Hall of Famer while Olden Polynice only averaged 7 ppg during his entire career. Pippen was also one of the greatest defensive players who helped shape the Bulls dynasty that won six championships.
3. Moses Malone
Moses Malone played briefly in the ABA and was drafted into the NBA after the ABA and NBA merged. Malone was drafted 5th overall by the Portland Trail Blazers, but never actually got to play a game with them because they chose another player like Malone named Maurice Lucas. They decided that they did not need both players, so they decided to trade Malone to make cap space and they traded him to the Buffalo Braves for a first round pick in the 1978 draft and for $232,000.
Malone went onto become one of the best players of all time averaging 20.6 ppg, 12.2 rebounds per game, and 1.4 assists per game. He also won three MVP awards, one championship along with winning finals MVP, made it into 12 All-Star games, four All NBA first teams, six-time rebounding leader, and won several other impressive awards. Lucas did not have a bad career either, but he was definitely no Moses Malone and the Trail Blazers definitely regretted trading him.
2. Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant got drafted straight out of high school from Lower Merion High School in the 1996 draft. He was drafted in the first round with the Charlotte Hornets’ 13th pick and traded 15 days later to the Los Angeles Lakers for Vlade Divac, their starting center. Kobe Bryant never left the Lakers throughout his 20 year career and won five championships getting two finals MVPs, one MVP award, got into 18 All-Star games, 11 All NBA first teams, two time NBA scoring champion, third leading scorer in NBA history, all time leading scorer for the Lakers, and many other great achievements.
He averaged 25 ppg, 5.2 rebounds per game, and 4.7 assists per game throughout his entire career, while Divac only average 11.8 ppg, 8.2 rebounds per game, and 1.4 blocks per game which does not even compare to Kobe.
1. Bill Russell
In the 1956 draft Bill Russell got drafted 2nd overall in the first round by the Atlanta Hawks and traded to the Boston Celtics where he spent his 13 year career. He got traded for Ed McCauley and Cliff Hagan who were pretty good, but do not compare to Bill Russell in achievements. McCauley had averaged 17.5 ppg, 7.5 rebounds per game, 3.2 assists per game, won one championship, got into seven All-Star games, and a couple of other awards. Hagan averaged 17.7 ppg, 6.6 rebounds per game, 3.2 assists per game, won one championship, got into five all-star games and a few other awards.
Russell’s achievements were much greater he won 11 championships in 13 years, averaged 15.1 ppg, 22.5 rebounds per game, 4.3 assists per game, five MVP awards, got into 12 All-Star games, three All NBA first teams, eight All NBA second team, one All NBA first Defensive team, four time rebounding champion, and two NCAA championships. He brought Boston much success by helping them win 11 championships by being amazing individually and by also being a great teammate.
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