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ESPN - Best Transactions since the Decision

Discussion in 'NBA Dish' started by Icehouse, Jul 1, 2020.

  1. Icehouse

    Icehouse Contributing Member

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    They have the Harden trade 3rd, which is fair. But how can their writers get paid to reinvent history?

    https://www.espn.com/nba/insider/st...ggest-nba-trades-transactions-lebron-decision


    ???

    And the Luka trade is already top 10???
     
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  2. Juxtaposed Jolt

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    Willing to post the whole article here, for the people that don't have insider?
     
  3. Icehouse

    Icehouse Contributing Member

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    Editor's note: This story was originally published on May 7.

    What were the best and biggest NBA moves of the past 10 years?

    LeBron James' decision to join the Miami Heat on July 8, 2010, led to an enormous rise in transactions taking over the league. With the NBA in limbo in the midst of its 74th season, our NBA experts -- Tim Bontemps, Bobby Marks and Kevin Pelton -- rank the top 74 trades, signings, draft picks and player moves since LeBron took his talents to South Beach.

    In making this list, we considered both the quality and the impact of the thousands of transactions over the past decade. Each analyst gave his own ranking based on how he evaluated the process and results of the transactions, leading to this composite ranking of the most impressive deals that had the biggest effects on the league.


    74. Heat add Adebayo
    • Year: 2017 | Type: Draft pick
    The details: The Miami Heat drafted Bam Adebayo with the No. 14 pick.

    The impact: After spending his first season-plus primarily as a backup to Hassan Whiteside, Adebayo broke into the starting lineup late in the 2018-19 campaign. This season, he built on that by becoming an ace defender and dishing out Miami's second-most assists, earning his first All-Star trip at age 22. -- Pelton

    More: Adebayo is the fiercest, best NBA player you don't know

    73. Boston signs Horford
    • Year: 2016 | Type: Signing
    The details: The Boston Celtics signed Al Horford to a four-year, $113 million contract.

    The impact: The Horford signing turned out to be more than a consolation prize for the Celtics missing out on Kevin Durant. Horford played a role in leading Boston for three seasons, including trips to the conference finals in 2017 and 2018. In addition, he was named to the All-Star Game in 2017. -- Marks

    More: Finally, Boston is a free-agent destination

    72. Lopez signs with the Bucks
    • Year: 2018 | Type: Signing
    The details: The Milwaukee Bucks signed Brook Lopez for one year for the biannual exception.

    The impact: Finally traded by the Brooklyn Nets after years of speculation, Lopez spent one miserable season with the Los Angeles Lakers. That left him undervalued on the free-agent market, allowing the Bucks to swoop in. Lopez proved to be a perfect fit in Mike Budenholzer's system, launching from 3-point range and providing elite defense at the rim alongside league MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. -- Bontemps

    More: How Lopez reshaped the Bucks

    71. Bucks get Bledsoe out of there
    • Year: 2017 | Type: Trade
    The details: The Bucks sent Greg Monroe and a protected first-round pick to the Phoenix Suns for Eric Bledsoe.

    The impact: Phoenix had been shopping Bledsoe since he tweeted "I Dont wanna be here" after the team fired coach Earl Watson. Though Bledsoe's playoff performance has been spotty, he has been a big part of the Bucks' regular-season success. -- Pelton

    More: Bledsoe trade grades

    70. Celtics acquire Kyrie
    Year: 2017 | Type: Trade
    The details: The Cleveland Cavaliers traded Kyrie Irving to Boston for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, a 2016 first-rounder from Brooklyn (Collin Sexton) and a 2020 second-rounder from Miami.

    The impact: Although he did earn All-NBA second-team honors in 2019 and appeared in two All-Star Games, Irving only played in 60 games during the 2017-18 season and didn't appear in the 2018 playoffs. His departure left Sexton and Zizic as the remaining two players from this trade on the team to which they were traded. -- Marks

    More: Zach Lowe on the Kyrie trade
     
  4. Icehouse

    Icehouse Contributing Member

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    69. Nets sign a 3-point champion
    • Year: 2016 | Type: Signing
    The details: Brooklyn signed Joe Harris to a two-year, minimum deal.

    The impact: After playing sparingly during his first two seasons in Cleveland, Harris had been traded and immediately waived after foot surgery. Brooklyn plucked him off the scrap heap and rehabilitated his confidence, finding a starter who won the 2019 3-point contest. -- Pelton

    More: Joe Harris joins the Lowe Post

    68. Raptors add by subtracting high scorer
    • Year: 2013 | Type: Trade
    The details: The Toronto Raptors sent Rudy Gay, Quincy Acy and Aaron Gray to the Sacramento Kings for Chuck Hayes, Patrick Patterson, John Salmons and Greivis Vasquez.

    The impact: Gay was Toronto's second-leading scorer at the time of his trade for four players averaging single digits. Yet instead of rebuilding, the 7-12 Raptors went the other way, going 41-22 the rest of the season for the first of six consecutive playoff appearances (and counting). -- Pelton

    More: Can any team replicate the 2019 Raptors?

    67. Miami signs Battier
    • Year: 2011 | Type: Signing
    The details: The Heat signed Shane Battier to a three-year, $9.4 million contract.

    The impact: Coming off a Finals loss to the Dallas Mavericks, the Heat had two needs to address: perimeter scoring and defense. While the Battier signing was more about providing bench depth, the Duke alum averaged 33.4 minutes during the 2012 playoffs and helped Miami to the NBA championship that year. -- Marks

    More: Shane Battier and the nuances of basketball

    66. David West to Indiana[/paste:font]

    • Year: 2011 | Type: Signing
    The details: The Indiana Pacers signed David West to a two-year, $20 million contract.

    The impact: West was a vicious pick-and-roll partner with Chris Paul in New Orleans, but he was coming off a torn ACL when he was a free agent in 2011. He signed a two-year deal with Indiana and helped turn to the Pacers into an Eastern Conference power over the next few seasons, going head-to-head with LeBron James and the Heat three straight years. -- Bontemps

    More: Grading the West signing

    65. D'Angelo Russell to Brooklyn
    • Year: 2017 | Type: Trade
    The details: The Lakers traded D'Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov to the Nets for Brook Lopez and a 2017 first-round pick (Kyle Kuzma).

    The impact: This deal wound up being good for both teams. The Nets were mired in a hellish rebuild and needed to take a chance on Russell, a high-ceiling prospect. The Lakers were about to draft Lonzo Ball and wanted to shed Mozgov's albatross of a contract. Managing to turn the pick into Kuzma was fortuitous for Los Angeles, but it still worked out for both sides. -- Bontemps

    More: D'Angelo Russell trade grades
     
  5. Icehouse

    Icehouse Contributing Member

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    64. Cleveland trades for key wings
    • Year: 2015 | Type: Trade
    The details: As part of a six-player, three-team trade that sent Dion Waiters to the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Cavaliers acquired JR Smith and Iman Shumpert from the New York Knicks. The trade also netted Cleveland a 2016 first-rounder from the Thunder, and New York received Lou Amundson, Lance Thomas, Alex Kirk and a 2019 second-rounder from the Cavaliers.

    The impact: After sitting at 19-16 at the time of the trade, the Cavaliers went 34-13 and finished the season as the No. 2 seed in the East. While Cleveland lost to the Golden State Warriors in the Finals, the trade helped balance the roster for the future. Smith replaced Waiters as the starting shooting guard and Shumpert provided the Cavaliers with a defensive presence off the bench. -- Marks

    More: Breaking down the Waiters trade

    63. Miami gets back in the star business

    • Year: 2019 | Type: Trade
    The details: In a five-player, four-team deal, the Heat acquired Jimmy Butler from the Philadelphia 76ers in a sign-and-trade, along with Meyers Leonard. Philadelphia received Josh Richardson, the Portland Trail Blazers got Hassan Whiteside and the LA Clippers landed Maurice Harkless plus a 2023 lottery-protected Heat first-rounder.

    The impact: Stuck in salary-cap purgatory and coming off a season of missing the playoffs, the Heat turned Richardson, Whiteside and a pick into Butler. The trade led to Miami becoming a top-four team in the East, with Butler making the All-Star Game. It was also a win for the Clippers, Blazers and 76ers. The 2023 first from Miami went to Oklahoma City as part of the Clippers' Paul George trade and Harkless was dealt at the trade deadline for Marcus Morris. -- Marks

    More: Jimmy Butler trade grades

    62. Nuggets get two for one
    • Year: 2014 | Type: Trade
    The details: The Denver Nuggets sent the rights to No. 11 pick Doug McDermott and forward Anthony Randolph to the Chicago Bulls for the rights to No. 16 pick Jusuf Nurkic, the rights to No. 19 pick Gary Harris and a 2015 second-round pick (Sir'Dominic Pointer).

    The impact: This deal illustrated the axiom that teams usually overpay to move up, as the Bulls surrendered the No. 19 pick and a future second-rounder to move up five spots. In Nurkic, who was later traded to the Trail Blazers, and Harris -- still their starting shooting guard -- the Nuggets ended up getting the two best prospects in this trade. -- Pelton

    More: Doug McDermott trade grades

    61. Gasol goes to Toronto
    • Year: 2019 | Type: Trade
    The details: The Memphis Grizzlies traded Marc Gasol to the Raptors for CJ Miles, Jonas Valanciunas, Delon Wright and a 2024 second-round pick.

    The impact: For so many championship teams, there is one shrewd move that winds up playing a decisive role in pushing them over the top. Landing Gasol gave Toronto a perfect weapon to deploy against 76ers superstar Joel Embiid, helping the Raptors escape a hard-fought second-round series. -- Bontemps

    More: Marc Gasol trade grades



    60. Rockets pick Capela
    • Year: 2014 | Type: Draft pick
    The details: The Houston Rockets drafted Clint Capela at No. 25 overall.

    The impact: Houston surely viewed Capela as the best prospect available. The Rockets looked set at center with Dwight Howard, and Capela spent most of his rookie season in the G League. Two years later, Capela stepped in for the departed Howard and paired well with James Harden. -- Pelton

    More: Why Capela looked like a draft sleeper
     
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  6. Icehouse

    Icehouse Contributing Member

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    59. Pistons land Harris
    • Year: 2016 | Type: Trade
    The details: The Detroit Pistons sent Ersan Ilyasova and Brandon Jennings to the Orlando Magic for Tobias Harris.

    The impact: Scott Skiles' desire to reunite with Ilyasova and Jennings allowed the Pistons to grab Harris, just 23 years old at the time, on a reasonable contract. Less than two years later, Detroit dealt Harris as the centerpiece of a package for Blake Griffin. By then, Skiles had long since been replaced in Orlando. -- Pelton

    More: Tobias Harris trade grades

    58. Monta Ellis for Andrew Bogut
    • Year: 2012 | Type: Trade
    The details: The Warriors traded Monta Ellis, Kwame Brown and Ekpe Udoh to the Milwaukee Bucks for Andrew Bogut and Stephen Jackson.

    The impact: As incredible as it seems now, there was a real debate about whether the Warriors should build around Ellis or Stephen Curry. The Warriors chose Curry and used Ellis as trade bait to bring in Bogut, whose defensive presence and feel for the game helped the Warriors become a championship-caliber team. -- Bontemps

    More: Bucks-Warriors trade grades

    57. Cavaliers trade for Love[/paste:font]

    • Year: 2014 | Type: Trade
    The details: The Minnesota Timberwolves traded Kevin Love to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Anthony Bennett and Andrew Wiggins.

    The impact: The Cavaliers won the lottery three times in the four years LeBron James was away from the franchise. The first time, they landed Kyrie Irving. The second and third times brought players -- Bennett and Wiggins -- that Cleveland turned into Love, the third member of Cleveland's "Big Three" that led them to the 2016 NBA title. -- Bontemps

    More: Kevin Love trade grades

    56. 'Mr. Irrelevant' becomes an All-Star
    • Year: 2011 | Type: Draft pick
    The details: The Sacramento Kings drafted Isaiah Thomas at No. 60.

    The impact: Players drafted with the 60th and final pick had combined for just 113 career games when the Kings took Thomas. Alas, the Kings wouldn't benefit from Thomas' All-Star campaigns, which came in Boston. -- Pelton

    More: IT's journey from final pick to stardom

    55. Cavs make room for LeBron
    • Year: 2014 | Type: Trade
    The details: The Cavaliers sent Jarrett Jack and Sergey Karasev to the Nets and Tyler Zeller plus a 2016 first-round pick (Skal Labissiere) to the Celtics as part of a three-team trade for the rights to Edin Bavcic and Ilkan Karaman.

    The impact: Moving Jack, Karasev and Zeller saved the Cavaliers nearly $10 million, allowing them to make a firm max offer to LeBron James that he would accept two days later. The deal worked for Boston, too: The Celtics later flipped the pick and Marcus Thornton, acquired from Brooklyn, for Isaiah Thomas. -- Pelton

    More: Cavaliers trade grades
     
  7. Icehouse

    Icehouse Contributing Member

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    54. Golden State re-signs Draymond
    • Year: 2015 | Type: Signing
    The details: The Warriors signed Draymond Green to a five-year, $82 million contract.

    The impact: Green was coming off his first championship and All-Defense honor when he signed an $82 million contract -- $12 million less than the maximum allowable. Green's $15.3 million cap hit in 2016-17 ($2.3 less than the max) -- along with the team-friendly deals of Steph Curry and Klay Thompson -- eventually gave the Warriors enough flexibility to sign Kevin Durant. -- Marks

    More: 2015 free agency winners

    53. San Antonio trades Davis Bertans
    • Year: 2019 | Type: Trade
    The details: The Washington Wizards received Davis Bertans from the San Antonio Spurs and sent the draft rights to Aaron White to the Nets, with San Antonio acquiring DeMarre Carroll from Brooklyn in a sign-and-trade.

    The impact: At the time, the Bertans trade to Washington made sense. San Antonio was signing Marcus Morris to the $9.3 million midlevel exception and acquiring Carroll with a trade exception created from the Bertans deal. However, Morris backed out of his agreement to sign in New York. Carroll played only 15 games and was waived in February, while Trey Lyles (the Morris replacement) averaged 6.4 PPG. And Bertans? He shot 42.4% from 3 and averaged a career-high 15.4 points with Washington this season. -- Marks

    More: Rating the Bertans deal

    52. Rockets sign Beverley off the scrap heap[/paste:font]

    • Year: 2013 | Type: Signing
    The details: The Houston Rockets signed Patrick Beverley to a three-year deal.

    The impact: After Beverley had spent close to three seasons plying his trade in Europe following being cut by the Heat in 2010, he latched on with the Rockets -- and quickly ensured he would be in the NBA for the long haul thanks to his trademark defense and spot-up 3-point shooting. -- Bontemps

    More: Beverley never forgets his humble beginnings

    51. The Hawks snag Korver
    • Year: 2012 | Type: Trade
    The details: The Chicago Bulls traded Kyle Korver to the Atlanta Hawks for $500,000 and a trade exception.

    The impact: The Bulls shipped Korver off to the Hawks in 2012, sending him into the trade exception Atlanta created by sending Joe Johnson to the Brooklyn Nets less than a week earlier. Korver became integral to the identity of the Hawks teams under Mike Budenholzer the next few seasons, most notably the 60-win team in 2014-15. -- Bontemps

    More: Kyle Korver's secrets to the Hawks' offense

    50. OKC acquires Oladipo and Sabonis
    • Year: 2016 | Type: Trade
    The details: Orlando traded the rights to Domantas Sabonis, Ersan Ilyasova and Victor Oladipo to Oklahoma City for Serge Ibaka.

    The impact: The draft-night trade gave the Thunder two young players on controllable contracts, while shedding Ibaka's $12.2 million expiring contract. Three months after the trade, Ilyasova's expiring contract turned into Jerami Grant. A year later, Sabonis and Oladipo were traded for Paul George and Ibaka was dealt to Toronto. -- Marks

    More: Ibaka-Oladipo trade grades
     
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  8. Icehouse

    Icehouse Contributing Member

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    49. Raptors foist Bargnani on Knicks
    • Year: 2013 | Type: Trade
    The details: The Raptors sent Andrea Bargnani to the Knicks for Marcus Camby, Steve Novak, Quentin Richardson, a 2014 second-round pick (Xavier Thames), a 2016 first-round pick (Jakob Poeltl) and a 2017 second-round pick (Jonah Bolden).

    The impact: For the Raptors, moving Bargnani's $11 million salary was a win. The inclusion of the eventual No. 9 overall pick in 2016 made this such a good deal that the Knicks were apparently scared away from trading with Toronto again when Kyle Lowry was on the block. -- Pelton

    More: Bargnani trade a big deal financially

    48. Hawks move Joe Johnson
    • Year: 2012 | Type: Trade
    The details: The Hawks sent Joe Johnson to the Nets for Jordan Farmar, Anthony Morrow, Johan Petro, DeShawn Stevenson, Jordan Williams, a 2013 first-round pick (Shane Larkin) and a 2017 second-round pick (Frank Jackson).

    The impact: Shedding nearly $90 million that was left on Johnson's contract opened the door for the Hawks to have cap space in summer 2013, which they used to add Paul Millsap and build a team that went deeper into the playoffs than the Johnson-led teams of the previous five years. -- Pelton

    More: Nets react to Joe Johnson trade

    47. The Raptors get a ton for Vasquez
    • Year: 2015 | Type: Trade
    The details: The Bucks traded a 2015 second-round pick (Norman Powell) and a 2017 first-round pick (OG Anunoby) to the Raptors for Greivis Vasquez.

    The impact: Vasquez was a nice backup point guard until he joined Milwaukee in 2015. Eighteen months later, an ankle injury effectively ended his career. Powell and Anunoby, meanwhile, have become staples of one of the Bucks' biggest rivals. Powell helped Toronto beat Milwaukee and win the NBA title last season. -- Bontemps

    More: Vasquez trade grades

    46. LeBron heads West


    • Year: 2018 | Type: Signing
    The details: LeBron James signed a four-year max contract with the Lakers.

    The impact: The Lakers missed the playoffs from 2014 to '18, more absences than they had in more than a half-century. That shouldn't have put them in position to sign a star player, yet James decided he wanted to join them. Though they missed the playoffs the following year, Anthony Davis eventually joined LeBron and created the next great Lakers team. -- Bontemps

    More: The day LeBron became a Laker

    45. The Heat sign Ray Allen
    • Year: 2012 | Type: Signing
    The details: Miami signed Ray Allen to a two-year, $6.3 million contract.

    The impact: After losing to Miami in the 2012 Eastern Conference finals, Allen joined the Heat that summer and ended the Big Three era in Boston. With Allen coming off a $10 million contract, his $3.1 million salary with the Heat was a steal. While he only played two seasons, Allen was part of two Finals teams and won a championship in 2013. -- Marks

    More: Heat react to adding Ray Allen
     
  9. Icehouse

    Icehouse Contributing Member

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    44. Millsap signs with the Hawks
    • Year: 2013 | Type: Signing
    The details: Paul Millsap signed a two-year, $19 million deal with the Hawks.

    The impact: The 60-win Hawks were put together by a series of shrewd moves -- perhaps none more so than Millsap's signing. Millsap had taken 113 3-pointers through seven NBA seasons. In his first year with the Hawks, he took 212 -- instantly turning into a prototypical stretch-4 and becoming a four-time All-Star as a result. -- Bontemps

    More: Rating the Millsap deal

    43. The Walker extension[/paste:font]

    • Year: 2014 | Type: Extension
    The details: The Hornets extended Kemba Walker for four years, $48 million.

    The impact: When Walker signed an extension in October 2014, it looked like a gamble. He'd yet to shoot better than 33.3% from 3 and had only topped 40% from the field once in three seasons. Walker became a three-time All-Star for Charlotte, yet five of his teammates made more than he did in 2018-19. -- Pelton

    More: Kemba's reaction to the deal

    42. Ingles snagged by the Jazz
    • Year: 2014 | Type: Waiver claim
    The details: After he was cut by the LA Clippers in training camp, Joe Ingles was claimed off waivers by the Utah Jazz.

    The impact: This is one of several subtle moves that turned the Jazz into a West contender the past few years. Ingles went from an unheralded waiver claim to a stalwart in Utah, serving as one of the NBA's best sixth men before sliding into the starting lineup for the past two seasons. -- Bontemps

    More: Ingles joins the Lowe Post

    41. Clippers draft Gilgeous-Alexander
    • Year: 2018 | Type: Trade
    The details: The Clippers traded the No. 12 pick and two future second-rounders (2020 and 2021) to the Charlotte Hornets for the No. 11 pick (Shai Gilgeous-Alexander).

    The impact: Gilgeous-Alexander was second-team All-Rookie and became the centerpiece of the Paul George trade last summer. Ranking No. 10 on our most recent 25-under-25 list, Gilgeous-Alexander could have served as an insurance policy and Kemba Walker's possible replacement in Charlotte. Instead, Charlotte drafted Miles Bridges, Walker signed with Boston and the Hornets committed $56.7 million to Terry Rozier. -- Marks

    More: Clippers-Hornets trade grades

    40. Toronto signs Lowry to a team-friendly contract

    • Year: 2014 | Type: Signing
    The details: The Raptors signed Kyle Lowry to a four-year, $48 million deal.

    The impact: The Raptors were coming off their first playoff appearance since 2007-08 when Lowry inked the new contract. The $12 million cap hit for the next four seasons was a bargain. From 2014-15 to 2017-18, Lowry appeared in four straight All-Star Games, was named All-NBA in 2016 and helped the Raptors win 49-plus games each season. -- Marks

    More: Rating the Lowry deal
     
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  10. Icehouse

    Icehouse Contributing Member

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    39. Tobias Harris traded to Philadelphia
    • Year: 2019 | Type: Trade
    The details: The LA Clippers traded Tobias Harris, Boban Marjanovic and Mike Scott to the Philadelphia 76ers for Wilson Chandler, Mike Muscala, Landry Shamet, two first-round picks and two second-rounders.

    The impact: The Clippers weren't sure they wanted to commit to Harris long term. The Sixers, meanwhile, wanted to go all-in on a title run. Some of what LA got in this trade was sent to OKC for Paul George, while trading for Harris helped ensure Jimmy Butler would leave Philadelphia as a free agent. -- Bontemps

    More: How the Harris trade shook up the NBA

    38. Throw-in becomes key player for Bucks
    • Year: 2013 | Type: Trade
    The details: The Bucks sent Brandon Jennings to the Pistons for Brandon Knight, Viacheslav Kravtsov and Khris Middleton.

    The impact: I blew this one. Middleton, who had averaged 6.1 points in 27 games as a second-round rookie, wasn't even mentioned in my trade grades at the time. Seemingly a throw-in to the deal, Middleton immediately became a starter in Milwaukee and has developed into an All-Star who was flirting with a 50-40-90 campaign before the NBA season was suspended. -- Pelton

    More: Middleton is one basket shy of a historic season

    37. Paul George goes to OKC[/paste:font]

    • Year: 2017 | Type: Trade
    The details: The Thunder traded Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis to the Indiana Pacers for Paul George.

    The impact: After Russell Westbrook averaged a triple-double and won MVP, the Thunder lost in the first round, and it wasn't clear how they could keep Westbrook -- until they landed George. Oklahoma City didn't make it out of the first round the next two years, either, but the team got a gigantic haul by eventually flipping both George and Westbrook. -- Bontemps

    More: Zach Lowe on the Paul George trade

    36. Mavs add missing piece
    • Year: 2010 | Type: Trade
    The details: The Mavericks sent Matt Carroll, Erick Dampier, Eduardo Najera and cash to the Charlotte Bobcats for Alexis Ajinca and Tyson Chandler.

    The impact: The Mavericks used Dampier's non-guaranteed contract to take Chandler off Charlotte's hands after a disappointing season. Chandler was revitalized in Dallas, doing the dirty work on the glass and on defense next to Dirk Nowitzki, helping the Mavericks win the 2011 championship. -- Pelton

    More: Carlisle says Mavs should retire Chandler's number

    35. Danny Green signs with the Spurs
    • Year: 2011 | Type: Signing
    The details: The Spurs signed Danny Green to a two-year contract.

    The impact: When Green signed a deal with the Spurs in March 2011, it seemed like a typical end-of-roster signing. Green, however, turned into the prototypical 3-and-D wing player for the Spurs, becoming a major part of their success over the next several seasons before he was dealt to Toronto and helped the Raptors win a title last year. -- Bontemps

    More: Danny Green joins the Lowe post
     
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  11. Icehouse

    Icehouse Contributing Member

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    34. Nuggets acquire Will Barton
    • Year: 2015 | Type: Trade
    The details: Portland traded Will Barton, Thomas Robinson, Victor Claver and a 2016 first-round pick (Malik Beasley) to Denver for Arron Afflalo and Alonzo Gee.

    The impact: Afflalo played in three playoff games while hampered by an injured arm and averaged 1.7 points, while Barton evolved from a barely used reserve in Portland to a 58-game starter this season, averaging 15 PPG. Beasley averaged 11 PPG last season and was traded to Minnesota in February for a future first-round pick. -- Marks

    More: Will Barton trade grades

    33. Early returns of PG swap favor Thunder
    • Year: 2019 | Type: Trade
    The details: The Thunder sent Russell Westbrook to the Rockets for Chris Paul, a 2024 protected first-round pick, a 2026 protected first-round pick and first-round swaps in 2021 and 2025.

    The impact: Compelled to trade Oklahoma City legend Westbrook after dealing Paul George earlier in the month, the Thunder got two lightly protected first-rounders and two swaps from the Rockets to take on Paul's onerous contract. Given that Paul has outperformed Westbrook this season, this looks like a huge win for OKC. -- Pelton

    More: NBA experts react to Westbrook-CP3 trade

    32. The Lakers clear cap space for LeBron
    • Year: 2018 | Type: Trade
    The details: The Lakers traded Larry Nance Jr. and Jordan Clarkson to the Cavaliers for Channing Frye, Isaiah Thomas and a 2018 first-round pick.

    The impact: A February trade deadline move that the Cavaliers hoped would get them back to the NBA Finals (where they were swept by the Warriors) also helped the Lakers clear the cap space to sign James away from Cleveland that summer. -- Bontemps

    More: Isaiah Thomas trade grades

    31. Pelicans trade Anthony Davis[/paste:font]

    • Year: 2019 | Type: Trade
    The details: In an eight-player, three-team trade, the Lakers acquired Anthony Davis from the Pelicans, while New Orleans received the rights to the No. 4 overall pick (De'Andre Hunter), Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, a 2021 first-rounder (top-7 protected), the right to swap first-rounders in 2023 and a 2024 unprotected first-rounder.

    The impact: When the season was suspended, the Lakers had the best record in the Western Conference and Davis was up for Defensive Player of the Year honors. However, considering there is only a six-month body of work, there are no championships (yet) to show for the trade and we don't know what will happen with those draft picks, we are taking a conservative approach in ranking this transaction. -- Marks

    More: Anthony Davis trade grades

    30. Mavs trade for Porzingis
    • Year: 2019 | Type: Trade
    The details: The Mavericks acquired Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Courtney Lee from the Knicks, with Dallas sending back Dennis Smith Jr., Wesley Matthews, DeAndre Jordan, a 2021 unprotected first-rounder and 2023 top-10 protected first-rounder.

    The impact: Porzingis was a franchise player his first two seasons but tore his left ACL in Year 3. He was traded to Dallas in January 2019 and signed a max contract in July. He appeared in 51 games this season and averaged 19.2 PPG. Porzingis and Luka Doncic give the Mavericks two franchise players under the age of 25. -- Marks

    More: Kristaps Porzingis trade grades
     
  12. Icehouse

    Icehouse Contributing Member

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    29. Lowry is traded to the Raptors
    • Year: 2012 | Type: Trade
    The details: The Raptors traded Gary Forbes and a 2013 first-round pick (Steven Adams) to the Rockets for Kyle Lowry

    The impact: The Kawhi Leonard trade is the one that everyone will remember helping the Raptors to their first NBA championship, and deservedly so. But it was a trade made six years earlier -- the one that brought Lowry to Toronto -- that set the stage for what is the greatest stretch in Raptors history. -- Bontemps

    More: What drives Lowry's unexplainable basketball genius?

    28. After going undrafted, VanVleet signs with Toronto
    • Year: 2016 | Type: Signing
    The details: Fred VanVleet was coming off an unremarkable 2016 summer league performance when Toronto signed him to a two-year, $1.8 million contract with $50,000 guaranteed in the first year

    The impact: After spending his rookie season focused on player development, VanVleet became Kyle Lowry's full-time backup during the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons. In the 2019 Finals, VanVleet averaged 14 points in 32.4 minutes of action. His 22-point performance in the deciding Game 6 win earned VanVleet a Finals MVP vote from ESPN's Hubie Brown. -- Marks

    More: How Toronto uncovers hidden talent

    27. Warriors draft Klay Thompson


    • Year: 2011 | Type: Draft pick
    The details: Golden State selected Klay Thompson with the No. 11 overall pick

    The impact: Selected after players such as Derrick Williams, Jan Vesely and Jimmer Fredette, Thompson has been named to the All-Star team five times, selected to the All-NBA team twice and made the All-Defensive second team in 2019. -- Marks

    More: Thompson is the Warriors' no-maintenance superstar

    26. Swap pays off for Sixers
    • Year: 2015 | Type: Trade
    The details: The 76ers sent the rights to Arturas Gudaitis and Luka Mitrovic to the Kings in exchange for Carl Landry, Nik Stauskas, Jason Thompson, first-round swap rights in 2016 and 2017 (No. 5 for No. 3) and a protected first-round pick (Romeo Langford)

    The impact: In one of Sam Hinkie's signature moves as 76ers GM, he fleeced an inexperienced Vlade Divac. The Kings gave up a protected first-round pick and swap rights to add $14 million in cap space, which helped them sign Marco Belinelli, Omri Casspi, Kosta Koufos and Rajon Rondo. Two years later, the swap allowed Philadelphia to move up from No. 5 to No. 3. Ultimately, the Sixers packaged that and the future first-rounder from the Kings to land the No. 1 pick and take Markelle Fultz. -- Pelton

    More: Sixers-Kings trade grades

    25. Clippers trade Blake Griffin
    • Year: 2018 | Type: Trade
    The details: Six months after signing a $171 million contract, Blake Griffin was traded to the Pistons along with Willie Reed and Brice Johnson, as LA received Tobias Harris, Avery Bradley, Boban Marjanovic, a 2018 first-round pick and 2019 second-rounder

    The impact: Griffin led the Pistons to the playoffs in 2019 and was selected as an All-Star that same year. However, knee surgery sidelined him for all but 18 games in 2019-20 and he is owed $77.5 million over the next two seasons. The player and draft compensation that the Clippers received eventually became Landry Shamet, JaMychal Green, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and two-first round picks -- all of which helped the Clippers land their star wing duo of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George in the summer of 2019. -- Marks

    More: Zach Lowe on the Griffin trade
     
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  13. Icehouse

    Icehouse Contributing Member

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    24. Warriors add Iguodala
    • Year: 2013 | Type: Trade
    The details: As part of a three-team trade, the Warriors sent Andris Biedrins, Richard Jefferson, Brandon Rush, a 2014 first-round pick (Rodney Hood), a 2016 second-round pick (Tyrone Wallace), a 2017 first-round pick (Josh Hart) and a 2017 second-round pick (Alpha Kaba) to the Utah Jazz and a 2018 second-round pick (Thomas Welsh) to the Denver Nuggets for Andre Iguodala and Kevin Murphy

    The impact: Coming off their first playoff appearance in six years, the Warriors went hunting in free agency and -- after getting turned down by Dwight Howard -- found a taker in Iguodala, whose Denver team had lost to Golden State in the opening round. The catch: The Warriors had no cap space, necessitating giving up two first-round picks and three second-rounders to offload salary to the Jazz. What looked like a risky deal paid off handsomely when Iguodala became a key part of Golden State's three title teams, winning Finals MVP in 2015. -- Pelton

    More: Iguodala first MVP not to start every Finals game

    23. George traded to the Clippers
    • Year: 2019 | Type: Trade
    The details: The Thunder traded Paul George to the Clippers for Danilo Gallinari, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Miami's first-round picks in 2021 and 2023, LA's first-round picks in 2022, 2024 and 2026 and the right to swap first-rounders in 2023 and 2025

    The impact: The Thunder knew they had leverage in this deal -- Kawhi Leonard had made it clear he wouldn't sign without George -- and OKC used every ounce of it to extract a haul from the Clippers. Getting the rights to five draft picks, plus the right to swap two others, is a heck of a deal. Add in Gallinari and a young guard like Gilgeous-Alexander and it is a grand slam. -- Bontemps

    More: Paul George trade grades

    22. Boston steals IT
    • Year: 2015 | Type: Trade
    The details: The Celtics sent Marcus Thornton and a 2016 first-round pick (Skal Labissiere) to the Suns for Isaiah Thomas as part of a three-team trade

    The impact: The Celtics were Thomas' third team in less than a year after a 46-game stint with the Suns. Boston bought low on Thomas as a bench scorer, and he sparked a playoff run before emerging as a starter and an All-Star the following season. Thomas' 28.9 PPG in 2016-17 remain the most by a Celtics player since Larry Bird, and his 29 points and 12 assists on a bad hip in Game 7 vs. the Washington Wizards helped Boston return to the conference finals. -- Pelton

    More: Isaiah Thomas trade grades

    21. Kawhi signs with the Clippers[/paste:font]

    • Year: 2019 | Type: Signing
    The details: Kawhi Leonard signed a two-year deal with the Clippers

    The impact: Leonard is one of the game's premier talents, and pairing him with Paul George in Los Angeles could be enough to lead the Clippers to their first championship. With only a few months of data to look at, it's unclear just how big the impact will be. Still, when a player of Leonard's caliber changes teams, it has ripple effects across the league. The frenzy of moves it created last summer alone -- including George being traded to L.A. to play with him -- earns it a place high up on this list. -- Bontemps

    More: How Kawhi pulled Paul George away from OKC

    20. Celtics swap the No. 1 pick for No. 3
    • Year: 2017 | Type: Trade
    The details: A week before the draft, Boston sent the No. 1 pick (Markelle Fultz) to Philadelphia in exchange for pick No. 3 (Jayson Tatum) and a 2019 first-round pick from Sacramento (Romeo Langford)

    The impact: Tatum proved he was worthy of No. 1 pick consideration, as he was named to his first All-Star Game before he reached his 22nd birthday. Fultz was initially derailed by a right shoulder injury that kept him out 136 games in his first two seasons. Fultz was traded to Orlando at the 2019 deadline, is now healthy and has started 59 games this season, averaging 12 points in 28.3 minutes. -- Marks

    More: Celtics-Sixers trade grades
     
  14. Icehouse

    Icehouse Contributing Member

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    19. Jazz move up for Mitchell
    • Year: 2017 | Type: Trade
    The details: The Jazz sent Trey Lyles and the rights to the No. 24 pick (Tyler Lydon) to the Nuggets for the rights to the No. 13 pick (Donovan Mitchell)

    The impact: A potentially wise trade down by Denver busted when the Nuggets picked Lydon, who lasted just two seasons in the league -- the same number Lyles played in Denver. Mitchell immediately helped the Jazz replace the departed Gordon Hayward and continues to progress as a scorer, making his first All-Star appearance this season. -- Pelton

    More: Jazz-Nuggets trade grades

    18. Clippers acquire CP3
    • Year: 2011 | Type: Trade
    The details: The Clippers acquired Chris Paul and two future second-round picks from New Orleans for Eric Gordon, Chris Kaman, Al-Farouq Aminu and a 2012 first-round pick (Austin Rivers)

    The impact: Before trading for Paul, the Clippers had never won 50 games and had only one playoff appearance since 1997-98. In his six seasons with LA, Paul led the Clippers to six straight playoff appearances, and 50-plus wins from 2012-13 to 2016-17. Paul was named to the All-NBA team five times, All-Defensive team six times and appeared in the All-Star Game five straight years from 2012 to 2016. -- Marks

    More: Inside the Clippers' last stand

    17. LeBron goes home


    • Year: 2014 | Type: Signing
    The details: The Cleveland Cavaliers signed LeBron James to a two-year, $42 million contract

    The impact: The Cavaliers signed James in 2014 and went on to make four straight Finals appearances, winning the city's first championship in a half-century. Not bad. -- Bontemps

    More: How the Cavs got LeBron back

    16. Bulls nab Butler with final pick of first round
    • Year: 2011 | Type: Draft pick
    The details: Chicago selected Jimmy Butler with the No. 30 pick

    The impact: In the 15 years since the first round of the draft expanded to 30 selections, Butler and David Lee are the lone players drafted in the spot to become All-Stars. Butler had to work his way up on the league's best regular-season team, becoming a starter by Year 3 and an All-Star the season after that. Now in Miami, Butler is one of the league's best two-way wing players. -- Pelton

    More: Miami made the Butler gamble Chicago never could

    15. Toronto drafts Siakam
    • Year: 2016 | Type: Draft pick
    The details: The Raptors selected Pascal Siakam with the No. 27 pick

    The impact: He appearing in only two playoff games -- without scoring -- in his rookie season, but Siakam averaged 37.1 minutes and 19 points in helping the Raptors win their first championship last year. Voted Most Improved Player after the 2018-19 season, Siakam was named an All-Star in February. Since 2010, only six players drafted outside the top 20 -- Siakam, Nikola Jokic, Rudy Gobert, Jimmy Butler, Draymond Green and Isaiah Thomas -- have appeared in an All-Star Game. -- Marks

    More: Siakam's 6,000-mile journey to Raptors stardom
     
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  15. Icehouse

    Icehouse Contributing Member

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    14. Jazz buy Gobert pick
    • Year: 2013 | Type: Trade
    The details: The Jazz sent the rights to the No. 46 pick (Erick Green) and cash to the Nuggets for the rights to the No. 27 pick (Rudy Gobert)

    The impact: Because first-round picks are so valuable, teams rarely sell them for cash anymore, but that's effectively what the Nuggets did in moving back 19 slots in the 2013 draft. (Between Gobert and Mitchell, they should probably hang up if the Jazz call again on draft night.)

    Green played a season-plus in Denver. By that point, Gobert was well on his way to becoming a two-time Defensive Player of the Year and All-Star who has helped Utah to a pair of playoff series wins. Gobert still wears the No. 27 to remember where he was drafted. -- Pelton

    More: Gobert is an underrated offensive force

    13. Denver sends Melo to New York
    • Year: 2011 | Type: Trade
    The details: As part of a three-team, 13-player trade, the Knicks acquired Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Corey Brewer, Renaldo Balkman, Shelden Williams and Anthony Carter from the Nuggets. The Nuggets received Raymond Felton, Timofey Mozgov, Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, Kosta Koufos, a 2014 first-rounder (Dario Saric) and a 2016 first-rounder (Jamal Murray). The Timberwolves received Eddy Curry, Anthony Randolph and a future second.

    The impact: Threatened by the possibility of Anthony going to the Nets, the Knicks traded three starters and future assets for him. New York made the playoffs in the next two seasons but would lose to Indiana in the 2013 conference semifinals. It was the last time New York appeared in the playoffs. The 2016 first-rounder Denver acquired in the trade would eventually turn into young star Murray. -- Marks

    More: Melo's complicated legacy in New York

    12. Nuggets draft Jokic
    • Year: 2014 | Type: Draft pick
    The details: The Nuggets selected Nikola Jokic with the No. 41 pick

    The impact: When the Nuggets plucked Serbian center Nikola Jokic out of obscurity in 2015, little did anyone know how much he would impact Denver in the years to come. Jokic has developed into one of the NBA's best players, a passing maestro with a wonderful assortment of offensive skills and an amusing disposition to go with it. Questions remain about him -- specifically, whether his defense is good enough to win at the highest levels -- but that doesn't diminish the impact of his selection, nor the credit due to president of basketball operations Tim Connelly and Denver's front office for drafting Jokic. -- Bontemps

    More: Inside Jokic's first postseason

    11. Warriors land Green in second round
    • Year: 2012 | Type: Draft pick
    The details: Golden State selected Draymond Green with the No. 35 pick

    The impact: Despite his strong production at Michigan State, Green slipped to the second round because scouts weren't sure whether he was big enough to defend power forwards or quick enough to defend on the perimeter. After improving his conditioning, Green won Defensive Player of the Year in 2016-17. His playmaking and defensive versatility were a key part of the Warriors' three championships and five Finals appearances in as many seasons. -- Pelton

    More: Green says teams due more blame when picks don't pan out

    10. Clippers dump Baron, give up Kyrie
    • Year: 2011 | Type: Trade
    The details: The Clippers sent Baron Davis and a first-round pick (Kyrie Irving) to the Cavaliers for Jamario Moon and Mo Williams

    The impact: At the 2011 trade deadline, former Clippers owner Donald Sterling decided he'd had enough of Baron Davis. As a result, Davis -- and the two years and roughly $28 million remaining on his deal -- was sent to the Cavaliers, along with an unprotected first-round pick. Had the Clippers just waited until after that summer's lockout, they'd have been able to use the amnesty provision to waive Davis, as Cleveland did.

    That pick became No. 1 overall, which the Cavaliers used to draft Irving. The move helped set the stage for LeBron James to make his return to Northeast Ohio three years later. Suffice to say that he wouldn't have gone back to Cleveland if there wasn't talent waiting there for him. This move helped ensure there would be. -- Bontemps

    More: The greatest shots in NBA Finals history
     
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  16. Icehouse

    Icehouse Contributing Member

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    9. Blazers heist Lillard pick
    • Year: 2012 | Type: Trade
    The details: The Trail Blazers sent Gerald Wallace to the New Jersey Nets for Mehmet Okur, Shawne Williams and a 2012 first-round pick (Damian Lillard)

    The impact: As recounted by then-Blazers employee Ben Falk on Cleaning the Glass, New Jersey's offer for impending free agent Wallace at the 2012 deadline seemed too good to be true. Believing the draft class to have just three impact players (Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Thomas Robinson), the lottery-bound Nets gave up their first-rounder with top-three protection. It landed at No. 6 and Portland used the pick to draft five-time All-Star Lillard, already one of the greatest players in franchise history. Re-signing Wallace helped the Nets convince Deron Williams to stick around, but both ended up overpaid. -- Pelton

    More: Inside the music and mind of Damian Lillard

    8. Warriors extend Curry
    • Year: 2012 | Type: Extension
    The details: The Warriors signed Stephen Curry to a four-year, $44 million extension

    The impact: When Curry signed this extension, he was dealing with ankle injuries that threatened a promising career. Less than three years later, he won his first MVP award and led the Warriors to their first championship. Curry's undervalued deal laid the foundation for Golden State's future, allowing the Warriors to fill out the first iteration of their title team with Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston. Along with the 2016 salary-cap spike, it also gave them the ability to sign Kevin Durant as a free agent. If Curry were being paid market rate at the time, the Warriors' five straight Finals appearances and three titles would have been difficult -- if not impossible. -- Bontemps

    More: How much was Steph worth in a max-free universe?

    7. Mavs trade up for Luka


    • Year: 2018 | Type: Trade
    The details: The Mavericks sent the rights to No. 5 pick Trae Young and a 2019 first-round pick (Cam Reddish) for the rights to No. 3 pick Luka Doncic

    The impact: Doncic and Young will forever be linked after being swapped on draft night. While both players developed into All-Stars in Year 2 and the real losers appear to be the two teams who passed on Doncic before he got to Atlanta's pick, Dallas would make this trade again in a heartbeat. Doncic flirted with the MVP race at age 20 and ranked No. 1 in our recent rankings of NBA players under 25 by future potential. Young was eighth. -- Pelton

    More: Luka-Trae trade grades

    6. Raptors acquire Kawhi
    • Year: 2018 | Type: Trade
    The details: San Antonio traded Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green and $5 million cash to Toronto in exchange for DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl and a 2019 first-round pick (Keldon Johnson)

    The impact: His stay in Toronto was short, but Leonard will go down as one of the greatest players in Raptors history. Leonard averaged 30.5 PPG during the playoffs, helping the Raptors win their first title en route to capturing his second Finals MVP. At the time, the move was considered high-risk, given Leonard's injury history and expiring contract. -- Marks

    More: Kawhi Leonard trade grades

    5. Milwaukee drafts Giannis[/paste:font]

    • Year: 2013 | Type: Draft pick
    The details: Two months after getting swept in the first round, Milwaukee selected Giannis Antetokounmpo with the No. 15 pick

    The impact: Not one of the 14 players selected ahead of Antetokounmpo has made an All-NBA team, and Victor Oladipo is the only one who has appeared in an All-Star Game. Antetokounmpo, meanwhile, is on the verge of winning his second consecutive MVP award, has been named to the All-NBA team three times and had Milwaukee holding on to the best record in the NBA when the season was suspended. -- Marks

    More: Inside Giannis' rise with the Bucks
     
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  17. Icehouse

    Icehouse Contributing Member

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    4. The Celtics stock up for the future
    • Year: 2013 | Type: Trade
    The details: The Celtics sent Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Jason Terry, D.J. White and a second-round pick to the Nets for Keith Bogans, Kris Humphries, MarShon Brooks, Gerald Wallace, Kris Joseph, first-round picks in 2014, 2016 and 2018, and the right to swap picks in 2017.

    The impact: When the Nets traded for Pierce and Garnett, it seemed they had assembled a championship-caliber roster. Though they did take the Heat to five games in the second round of the 2014 playoffs, they fell far short of those aspirations.

    For the Nets, chasing a title meant parting with the No. 3 pick in 2016, the No. 1 pick in 2017 and the No. 8 pick in 2018 -- which eventually became Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and a key piece in the Kyrie Irving trade to Boston -- creating the foundation for Boston to be a high-level team for the next decade. -- Bontemps

    More: The legacy of the Celtics-Nets blockbuster

    3. Thunder trade future MVP
    • Year: 2012 | Type: Trade
    The details: The Rockets sent Jeremy Lamb, Kevin Martin, Toronto's 2013 first-round pick (Steven Adams), a 2013 second-round pick (Alex Abrines) and a 2014 first-round pick (Mitch McGary) to the Thunder for James Harden, Cole Aldrich, Daequan Cook and Lazar Hayward

    The impact: Barely four months removed from a Finals loss, the Thunder traded Harden, the budding Sixth Man Award winner, when he was unwilling to sign an extension for less than the maximum. The Rockets pounced, quickly signing Harden to a five-year deal, and watched him develop into an All-Star and eventual MVP. Martin left after one season in Oklahoma City, and while Adams became a starter, the Thunder were never the same. -- Pelton

    More: NBA experts react to the Harden trade

    2. Spurs extend the dynasty
    • Year: 2011 | Type: Trade
    The details: The Pacers sent pick No. 15 (Kawhi Leonard), pick No. 42 (Davis Bertans) and the rights to Erazem Lorbek to the Spurs for George Hill

    The impact: Hill helped Indiana to two straight Eastern Conference finals and five straight playoff appearances. Typically, that would be a very good trade. But the Spurs captured their fifth title with Leonard, who became the 2014 NBA Finals MVP and led the Spurs to two Finals appearances and two Western Conference finals in his seven years with the franchise. Bertans developed into a valuable bench contributor, making this one of the most impactful transactions of the decade. -- Bontemps

    More: George and Leonard 'destined' to play together

    1. Warriors sign KD


    • Year: 2016 | Type: Signing
    The details: The Warriors signed free agent Kevin Durant to a two-year, $54.3 million contract with a player option

    The impact: The signing changed the landscape of the NBA for the next three seasons. The Warriors added the 2014 MVP to a team that had won 73 regular-season games the year prior but suffered a Finals loss to the Cavaliers. The end result was three straight trips to the NBA Finals, including back-to-back championships in 2017 and 2018. Durant was named the Finals MVP in both years. -- Marks
     
  18. Juxtaposed Jolt

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  19. Asian Sensation

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    #38 still seems underrated/lopsided to me. It should be top 25. Middleton’s game is niiiceeee.
     
  20. francis 4 prez

    francis 4 prez Contributing Member

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    i didn't look at everything, but how would lebron going back to cleveland not be way higher considering it got a title? i suppose they are saying it wasn't some amazing idea that no one else had, but then signing kd wasn't either. i could barely even remember most of the melo to NY deal or any of its impact.
     
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