5. Atlanta Hawks trade Pau Gasol to Grizzlies (2001)
Trade was Paul Gasol and a 2010 second round pick for Kwame Brown, Javaris Crittenton, Aaron McKie, the rights to Marc Gasol, a 2008 first round pick and 2010 first round pick. The reason this trade was so lopsided was because Pau Gasol clearly had the best career out of all the players in this deal (6x all star, 2x Finals Champion, 2001-2002 Rookie of the Year). In his career he averaged 17.0 ppg, 9.2 rpg, and 3.2 apg. All the players makes it look like the Grizzlies won this trade, but none of them had any success and Pau Gasol has cemented his legacy as one of the top big men in the history of the NBA. The Grizzlies fans may have said they won this trade, but I’m sure they are all wondering what could have happened if they kept Pau Gasol.
4. Chicago Bulls trade LaMarcus Aldridge to Trail Blazers (2006)
Trade was LaMarcus Aldridge and a future 2nd round pick for Tyrus Thomas and Viktor Khryapa. Tyrus Thomas played 8 years in the league averaging only 7.7 ppg, 4.8 rpg, and 0.9 apg. Viktor Khryapa only played 4 years and had worse numbers than Thomas. LaMarcus Aldridge, on the other hand, has played for 14 years and is in trade talks now to be moved to a contender. Aldridge is a 7x All Star and has career averages of 19.4 ppg, 8.3 rpg, and 2.0 apg. Not only would Aldridge for the 2 players named be a rip off, but they also got a future 2nd round pick in this deal. The Bulls are definitely wondering what they were thinking at the time and maybe they should’ve stuck with Aldridge.
3. Memphis Grizzlies trade Kevin Love to Timberwolves (2008)
Trade was Kevin Love, Mike Miller, Brian Cardinal, and Jason Collins to the Timberwolves; and OJ Mayo, Antoine Walker, Marko Jaric, and Greg Buckner to the Grizzlies. Kevin Love has played for 12 years (5x All star, 1x Rebound champion, and 1x NBA finals champion). For the Timberwolves he averaged 19.2 ppg, and 12.2 rpg over 6 seasons. The players that the Timberwolves gave up were: OJ Majo (8 seasons), Marko Jaric (7 seasons), Antoine Walker (12 seasons), and Greg Buckner (10 seasons) and the only player to make an all-star game was Antoine Walker (who made it 3 times). The Timberwolves didn’t just get Kevin Love, they got Mike Miller (2x NBA champion, and 2000-2001 Rookie of the Year), Brian Cardinal (1x NBA Champion), and Jason Collins who played 13 years as a bench player. The Timberwolves won this trade because of the talent they got back (mainly Kevin Love), but the players traded to the Timberwolves combined for 4 NBA championships and the Grizzlies players combined for 0. Sadly for the Timberwolves, all of the championships won were as members of other teams, regardless they still won this trade.
2. Phoenix Suns trade Rajon Rondo to Celtics (2006)
The Suns traded Rondo for a first round pick in 2007 (Rudy Fernandez) that they eventually traded the pick for cap relief. The Suns ultimately traded Rondo for cap relief. Rondo has played in the league for 14 years and is still playing 15 minutes/game for the Hawks. He won 2 NBA Championships and made the all star team 4 times. During his career he’s averaged 10.0 ppg, 4.7 rpg, and 8.1 apg, although those numbers don’t wow anyone today the Celtics know how important Rondo was to their 2008 championship run. A 2x Champion and 14+ year veteran traded for cap relief will definitely go down as one of the more lopsided trades since 2000.
1. Indiana Pacers trade Kawhi Leonard to Spurs (2011)
The Pacers got absolutely robbed in this trade by giving up Kawhi Leonard, Davis Bertans, and Erazem Lorbek for George Hill. The past 2 years Davis Bertans is having a career high scoring performance as the 28 year olds game is finally developing. Erazem Lorbek never played a game in the NBA. But the biggest name in this trade is definitely Kawhi Leonard (the Pacers got George Hill in return). In 9 years Kawhi is a 5x All-Star, 2x Defensive Player of the Year, 2x NBA Champion, and 2x Finals MVP. He is averaging 19.1 ppg, 6.4 rpg, and 2.8 apg (but this year his numbers are 26.6 ppg, 6.3 rpg, and 4.8 apg). Kawhi Leonard is argued by some to be the greatest player in the league right now but he is in everyone’s top 5 list. George Hill, on the other hand, averages 11.1 ppg, 3.1 rpg, and 3.2 apg in his career and never made an all star game. Hill has played for 7 different times in 12 years. The Pacers are credited with the most lopsided trade since 2000 and maybe all time. They got George Hill for Kawhi Leonard and 2 other players…let that sink in!