by Micah Hart
You may have noticed it’s the offseason, which means we have plenty of time to sit around and think about many of the things that make it fun to be an NBA fan. Here at All Ball, we’ll be passing the time until the start of the season with a new series, the Fave Five. Each week we’ll count down a list of the five best, or worst … somethings. We’ll try to get creative with it. Plus we’re taking requests! If you have a suggestion for a Fave Five post, give us a shout and you may see it appear in this space over the next several weeks.
Earlier this offseason, you may recall a certain four-team trade that sent Dwight Howard to the Lakers, Andrew Bynum to the Sixers and Andre Iguodala to the Nuggets. Those guys were certainly the A-listers in the deal, but several others (12 in total) changed teams, including Al Harrington, who moved from Denver to Orlando.
For Harrington, this was nothing new. Big Al has had to pack his bags at a moment’s notice several times along his NBA journey so far; the trade to Orlando constituted the fifth time in his 14-year career he’s been dealt.
Five trades for one guy. That seems like a lot. But is it?
Not really. The NBA trades players at almost a fantasy-league level. Contenders trade to add that last piece for a championship run. Also-rans trade to bottom out and start from scratch. The Timberwolves trade because it’s Tuesday, and hey, why not. It’s the trading-est league in professional sports, and I don’t think it’s particularly close either.
In league history, there have been seven players to be traded seven or more times. In this week’s Fave
Five Seven, we take a look at them.
To me, Jim Jackson is the absolute epitome of the kind of player who gets traded a lot in the NBA. He was clearly a talented guy (drafted No. 4 overall in the 1992 Draft), and his scoring skills made him a coveted asset throughout his career. But often times Jackson failed to provide much else for a team, and soon he’d be dangled again as bait for the next team looking to shore up its offense.
Career trades: Seven. Dallas to New Jersey, New Jersey to Philadelphia, Portland to Atlanta, Atlanta to Cleveland, Houston to New Orleans, New Orleans to Phoenix
Most famous deals: Jackson came into the league with the Mavericks, and for a time there was real optimism about the team’s future with the “Three Js” — Jason (Kidd), Jamal (Mashburn), and Jackson. But in-fighting famously led Dallas to blow up the team, and after shipping Kidd to Phoenix and Mashburn to Miami, the Mavs traded Jackson to New Jersey in a gigantic, nine-player deal at the 1997 trade deadline that netted Shawn Bradley. Four months later, at the ’97 Draft, the Nets then turned around and dealt Jackson to the Sixers in an eight-player deal that netted (no pun intended) No. 2 pick Keith Van Horn.