Last week SB Nation ran a series of posts on Cult Classic players, players that built a loyal following among the fan base despite not being stars. This week we're going to look at the best trades for each team, with each NBA blog posting about a great trade in franchise history.
For a team with a pretty dismal overall history, the Clippers have actually made some pretty savvy trades over the years. (The team's ability to retain talent after it has been acquired had been the bigger problem, but that's a different question, and has begun to change in the last decade at any rate.) I'd like to know what you the citizens of Clips Nation think was the greatest trade.
In the case of the Cult Classics, given the freshness of the memory and the fact that the readership of Clips Nation is bound to generally skew toward younger fans, Steve Novak garnered a lot of support that was perhaps less than entirely deserved in the big picture. In this case, there is a trade that is instrumental in the construction of the current team, that also happens to be a great trade for the team, that will likely be the runaway winner in our poll.
Here's a quick overview of each of the trades I've decided to include in the poll today:
Dec. 14, 2011; Chris Paul for Chris Kaman, Eric Gordon, Al-Farouq Aminu and a first round pick -- this one likely needs little additional information. The Clippers gave up a lot, but they got a lot in return. We're just starting year 2 of the deal, but so far so good.
Aug. 12, 2005; Sam Cassell and a protected first round pick for Marko Jaric and Lionel Chalmers -- this trade was instrumental in delivering arguably the two best point guards in Clippers history, Cassell in 2005 and Paul in 2011, since the pick that Minnesota included with Cassell was a major bargaining chip in the Paul trade six years later. And the T-Wolves did this trade all for the right to overpay Jaric. Wow.
June 27, 2001; Elton Brand for Tyson Chandler and Brian Skinner -- this trade may look worse now than it really was, given the manner in which Brand left and the fact that Chandler eventually grew into one of the premier post defenders in the league. But for the six healthy seasons Brand played in L.A. his productivity was among the best in the league, and far higher than Chandler's. The trade was, simply put, a steal for the Clippers.
June 28, 2000; Corey Maggette, Derek Strong and Keyon Dooling for a protected first round pick -- this amazingly one-sided trade is often overlooked. Orlando was clearing cap space to sign Grant Hill and Tracey McGrady and they gave away Maggette and Dooling because of it. Furthermore, the protections on the pick kept it with the Clippers until 2006, the year they had their best record in L.A., so it ended up being 22nd overall. People have mixed emotions about Maggette, but the bottom line is he is one of the most prolific scorers in Clippers history, and they got him for a pick that became Marcus Williams (the UConn point guard).
May 29, 1975;1975 first round pick for 1976 first round pick -- Just to tie in a little history, let's go back to the Buffalo days for this one. In 1975 the Braves traded their first round pick to the Suns for their first round pick the following season. The deal would up being Ricky Sobers (a nice enough NBA player who had an 11 year career) for Adrian Dantley (a Hall of Famer who twice led the NBA in scoring. Of course, it would have been better had the Braves not traded their rookie of the year after just one season in Buffalo.
So vote for your favorite trade below and look for a bigger post about it on Wednesday. If you've got another great trade to nominate, leave it in the comments.