Being Traded: An Opportunity

Shaquille O’Neal goes wild in mosh pit at Tomorrowland

Being traded is like hitting rock bottom.

After giving everything to team, the player gets shipped to another team for what could be a better fit for the team. It leaves the feeling being unwanted and being a dead weight.

But there are players who look at it as an opportunity to be better version old selves.

Here are the players who, after being traded, improved by leaps and bounds:

Chauncey Billups

Before he being Mr. Big Shot, before getting that ring in 04, Chauncey was a journeyman. Drafted by the Rick Pitino Celtics, he was traded in his rookie season to the Raptors. Then we was traded the Nuggets at the end of the season. He spent a couple of seasons in the Mile High being swapped to the Wolves who then traded him to the Pistons in 2002. And we all know what happened to that Detroit Pistons team – defeating that Hall of Fame filled Lakers team in 2004. Oh, he nabbed that Finals MVP too.

Tracy McGrady

For his first three seasons, he was playing second fiddle to Vince Carter north of the border in Toronto. He was sent to tropical Orlando in 2000 for a 2005 first round pick. Freed from the shadow of his cousin, he went to post career numbers in points as the alpha dog. It was with that Magic where he posted 32.1 ppg and 28.0 – the two highest averages of his career.

Isaiah Thomas

Sure, he just got traded to the Lakers. This, however, is an entirely different IT from the Boston Celtics IT, the King of the Fourth. Thomas was an expendable piece the Phoenix Suns lineup before finding a home and making a name in Bean Town. He carried that Celtics on the back of his 5’9” frame to the postseason, making himself a true MVP candidate. That is until he broke his hip and got flipped for Kyrie Irving in the last offseason.

Kyle Lowry

Drafted 24th overall by the Memphis Grizzlies, he only played 10 games in his rookie year before playing for 82 games the following year. In 2009, we part of a three-team deal that saw Lowry wear the Rockets jersey. From averaging below 9ppg in Memphis, he improved to 11.5ppg in his tour of duty in Houston. In 2012, he was shipped up north to Toronto for Gary Forbes and a 2013 first rounder. Currently in his sixth season with the Raptors, Lowry has been named an All Star four times and is one of the leaders of the East’s top 3 team.

James Harden

In today’s game, James Harden would probably be the top pick for having the most improvement after being traded. In his three years with Oklahoma City, he averaged 12.7ppg as the formidable sixth man in the team’s two Finals appearance. He was then traded to the Houston Rockets in the summer of 2012 and had immediate impact as the go-to guy of the Moreyball system. The six-time All-star and perennial MVP candidate now averages 27.3 ppg while leading the high octane team to the top 3 seeds of the cutthroat Western Conference.