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3 Worst Trades In NBA History

Red-Auerbach

Sometimes trades in the NBA can completely change a team, as they can become championship winner and even build dynasties, but sometimes in order for a thing to turn out that way the team that was on the other side of the trade can be the biggest loser. Today we look at the 3 worst trades ever:

  1. Lakers get: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Milwaukee Bucks get: Junior Bridgeman, Dave Meyers, Elmore Smith, and Brian Winters

Back in 1975, the Milwaukie Bucks decided to trade their star center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for reasons only known to them.

He previously led them to the championship in 1971 and made them legit title contenders for years. But he would eventually get traded for Junior Bridgeman, Dave Meyers, Elmore Smith, and Brian Winters, who would neither turn out to be an All-Star player and not deliver.

While on the other end Kareem would end up winning 5 more titles with LA and become the leading scorer in NBA history.

  1. Lakers get: Kenny Carr, Freemen Williams, Sam Worthen and 1979 draft pick (Magic Johnson), Jazz get: Gail Goodrich, Essie Givens, and Jack Givens

The Jazz that was at the time located in New Orleans back in 1979 wanted to get Lakers guard Gail Goodrich and conveniently Gail wanted out also.

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So, the trade went down as the Lakers traded away Gail Goodrich, Essie Givens and Jack Givens for Kenny Carr, Freemen Williams, Sam Worthen, and 1979 draft pick.

The key part of the trade was the draft pick that would turn out to be who else then Magic Johnson. The Jazz would go on to be one of the worst teams in the NBA for the next period, while Magic became one of the best players ever and won multiple championships with the Lakers.

Truly a trade that killed a franchise.

1. Celtics get: Bill Russell, Hawks get: Cliff Hagan and Ed Macauley

Although Bill Russell was a force in college when the St. Louis Hawks drafted him in 1956, they didn’t want him, but the Celtics saw the opportunity to get him from them and took it. The legendary Red Auerbach knew the potential.

It was rumored cash was not an issue for the Hawks to keep Russell, but the problem was linked with racial discrimination, as the Hawks had an all-white team that year.

They would trade him away for Cliff Hagan and Ed Macauley.

Well Russel became the leader of the Celtics dynasty and would go on to be the biggest winner in NBA history with 11 rings, while the Hawks didn’t even notch a Finals appearance since 1961.

Definitely the worst trade in NBA history.

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