1. Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and pick 7 in 2017 NBA Draft to Chicago
Right now, and most likely when we look back on this trade, the Bulls look like they have gotten short-changed for shipping Jimmy Butler, one of the best forwards in the league, to Minnesota. On top of Butler, the Bulls also had to give up their own first round pick to satisfy the Timberwolves – proving that they have basically been robbed of one of the best players in the NBA. This is not an attack on LaVine and Dunn as players, mind you, but you cannot honestly suggest that these two are a sufficient replacement for Butler. This is easily the worst trade of the 2017 offseason trade period.
2. Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis to Indiana
This was a close second for the title of worst trade this off season, as Indiana gave up perennial All-Star Paul George for two rotation players. Oladipo is no doubt a player on the rise, but to consider he and Sabonis as an adequate replacement for George is far fetched. Essentially, the Pacers have lost their franchise superstar for players who will never reach anywhere near the heights of George.
3. D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov to Brooklyn
Russell no doubt has the makings of a superstar. However, to use the words of Lakers GM Magic Johnson, Russell lacks the “leadership” to take a side to the next level. So the Lakers essentially got rid of a locker room pest and offloaded arguably the worst contract in the league for a better centre in Brook Lopez as well as Kyle Kuzma (pick 27). If his summer league form is anything to by, Kuzma looks set to have a big career. Nothing seems to work in Brooklyn, and for them to have a known dysfunctional and disloyal playmaker, as well as occupy one of the worse contracts in the league, just about sums up their current situation.
4. Ricky Rubio to Utah
Now we begin to get to the controversial two I have placed on this list, and the first is former Minnesota point guard Rubio to the Jazz for a first round pick. We all know Rubio doesn’t light up the stat sheet and has never been a perennial scorer. Despite his shooting struggles being well known, the Timberwolves will still miss the Spanish point guard more than what most people would think – and they only got a first rounder in return. Rubio’s court vision, passing and underrated defence were what made him a solid point guard. Yet in spite of his years of service, the Timberwolves could only muster a first round pick for him. It feels like Rubio has been the league for a decade, but he is only a mere 26 years of age with plenty of output left in the bag. To only get a first round pick in return for a player of his calibre is simply not enough.
5. 2017 No.1 pick Markelle Fultz to Philadelphia
And here’s the second controversial selection, and one which I know is way too early to tell. But at this stage, it appears that the 76ers may have paid overs for Fultz. The Celtics were adamant in the lead-up to the draft that the player they wished to draft, which turned out to be Jayson Tatum, would still be available at pick No.3. They proved to be correct, ultimately giving up the No. 1 pick to the 76ers for pick No. 3 and drafting Tatum, along with a future first-rounder from either the Lakers (2018) or Kings and 76ers (2019, whichever is higher of the two). Essentially, they still got the player they desired in the draft, as well as another first rounder, which is clearly a big win for the Celtics. At this stage for the 76ers, they appear to have paid a lot for Fultz, who is now under pressure to show them that he’s worth it. Again, it is too early to tell, yet on paper it looks like the Celtics got the better of the 76ers here.
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