Thursday, April 26, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

What does Jonathan Drouin have in common with John Elway and Kobe Bryant?

Lightning wing Jonathan Drouin is far from the only pro athlete who has requested a trade. What separates his demand is that the No. 3 overall draft pick in 2013 is still unproven. Drouin, 20, has played 89 NHL games and has six goals.

With that in mind, here are 10 public faceoffs involving players with high ceilings but limited credentials at the next level.

1. John Elway: The future Hall of Fame quarterback refused to play for the Baltimore Colts after they selected him No. 1 overall out of Stanford in the 1983 draft. Elway threatened to pursue a pro baseball career before the Colts traded him to Denver, where he won two Super Bowls.

2. Bo Jackson: The Bucs ended up wasting the No. 1 selection of the 1986 draft on the Auburn running back, who told then-owner Hugh Culverhouse he wouldn't play for the Bucs. Jackson made good on his vow. He played baseball that year, re-entered the next year's NFL draft and joined the Raiders.

3. Kobe Bryant: The guard's agent made it clear that Bryant wanted to play for the Lakers right out of high school. That didn't stop Charlotte from drafting him 13th overall in 1996. Bryant got his wish when the Hornets sent him to Los Angeles for Vlade Divac.

4. Steve Francis: The NBA's No. 2 overall pick out of Maryland in 1999 wasn't happy about being drafted by the Grizzlies and called Vancouver too far away from his Maryland home. Even though he seemed to make peace with the city three weeks after the draft, Francis eventually got his wish. Vancouver sent the guard to Houston a month later in a three-team, 11-player deal that was the largest in NBA history.

5. Colby Rasmus: The outfielder was one of the Cardinals' most decorated prospects but wasn't happy with his playing time in 2010. He requested a trade at least once, but general manager John Mozeliak shot that down. St. Louis traded Rasmus to Toronto midway through the next season.

6. J.D. Drew: Agent Scott Boras thought the No. 2 pick of the 1997 draft was worth $11 million; the Phillies weren't offering the Florida State outfielder anywhere near that much. Drew shunned the Phillies, played independent ball for a year and signed with the Cardinals the next year.

7. Matt Harrington: The No. 7 overall pick of baseball's draft chose to decline almost $5 million from the Rockies in 2000, then didn't sign with the four other teams that drafted him in later years (including the Devil Rays in 2002). The right-hander had a tryout with the Cubs but never reached the majors.

8. Eric Lindros: He was a highly touted forward with a bright future in the NHL. Lindros refused to play for the Nordiques after they drafted him No. 1 overall in 1991. He sat out the next season, and the Nordiques traded him to the Flyers for a huge haul in June 1992.

9. Danny Ferry: The former Duke star chose playing in Italy over signing with the Clippers after they took him with the No. 2 pick in the 1989 draft. The Clippers eventually dealt Ferry to the Cavaliers for three draft picks and guard Ron Harper.

10. DeMarcus Cousins: The former Kentucky center had a solid rookie season for the Kings in 2010-11, but he wasn't a star when frustration bubbled. The Kings said he was "unwilling/unable" to be a team player and demanded a trade. Cousins' agent later said there was no trade request. Regardless, the sides reconciled. Cousins signed an extension a year and a half later and was an All-Star last season.

     
         
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