Late Monday, the Nuggets traded superstar Carmelo Anthony to the Knicks in a three-team, 13-player blockbuster that included draft picks and cash. In acquiring Anthony, the Knicks gave up four regulars. Years from now, we'll look back on Monday's deal and decide that this was either a move that made the Knicks a contender or a mistake that crippled the franchise. We take a look at other superstars who were traded and the impact of those deals.
The deal: The Oilers trade Wayne Gretzky, Marty McSorley and Mike Krushelnyski to the Kings for Jimmy Carson, Martin Gelinas, three first-round picks and cash. (Aug. 9, 1988)
The result: Gretzky, only 27 at the time of the trade, never brought a Stanley Cup to Los Angeles, but his presence turned the Kings into a marquee franchise and renewed American interest in hockey. Meanwhile, the trade actually panned out well for the Oilers, at least in the short term. A year later, they shipped Carson off to Detroit in a deal that landed the Oilers, in part, Adam Graves, Petr Klima and Joe Murphy. Those three players and Gelinas were all part of the Oilers team that won the Stanley Cup in 1990.
The deal: The Cowboys trade Herschel Walker and four draft picks to the Vikings for Jesse Solomon, David Howard, Issiac Holt, Darrin Nelson, Alex Stewart and eight draft picks, including three first-rounders and three second-rounders. (Oct. 12, 1989)
The result: This is considered one of the most lopsided deals in sports history. Thinking Walker was the missing piece, the Vikings gave up the ranch. He played decently in three seasons, but the Vikings went 24-24 with one playoff appearance. The Cowboys eventually packaged those Vikings picks for more picks or higher ones while selecting players such as Emmitt Smith, Russell Maryland, Darren Woodson, Kevin Smith, Alvin Harper, Dixon Edwards and Robert Jones. They returned to glory and won three Super Bowl titles in the 1990s. The Vikings never did collect that sought-after title.
The deal: The Bucks trade Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Walt Wesley to the Lakers for Elmore Smith, Brian Winters, David Meyers and Junior Bridgeman. (June 16, 1975)
The result: Abdul-Jabbar won three MVP awards and an NBA championship in Milwaukee but didn't like the Midwest lifestyle, so he requested a trade to New York or Los Angeles. The Bucks acquired decent young players who developed into solid NBA players. But Abdul-Jabbar was more than "solid." He became the NBA's all-time leading scorer while winning three more NBA MVP awards and five more championships with the Lakers.
The deal: The Rangers trade Alex Rodriguez to the Yankees for Alfonso Soriano and a player to be named later (Joaquin Arias). (Feb. 15, 2004)
The result: Mired in last place, the Rangers decided to trade A-Rod, the reigning AL MVP, and his hefty contract. A-Rod went to New York after a deal with Boston fell through. Soriano had two good seasons in Texas before being traded again. The regret for the Rangers was taking Arias, who played only 91 games in four years with the Rangers, instead of Robinson Cano, whom the Yankees were willing to trade at the time. A-Rod's career in New York has produced six All-Star appearances, two MVPs and a world championship.
The deal: The Nordiques trade the rights to Eric Lindros to the Flyers for Ron Hextall, Mike Ricci, Peter Forsberg, Steve Duchesne, Kerry Huffman, a first-round pick (Jocelyn Thibault), Chris Simon and a 1994 first-round pick. (June 30, 1992)
The result: The Nordiques drafted Lindros first in the 1991 draft, but he refused to play for them. He forced a trade to Philadelphia, where he played well, winning an MVP award, making six All-Star teams and getting the team to the final. But the trade helped the Nordiques, who eventually moved to Colorado, become an NHL power. Ricci and Simon became vital players. Thibault was the key piece in a deal that landed the Avs goalie great Patrick Roy. And Forsberg became a superstar, helping the Avs win two Stanley Cups.
Ken Griffey Jr.
The deal: The Mariners trade Ken Griffey Jr. to the Reds for Mike Cameron, Brett Tomko, Jake Meyer and Antonio Perez. (Feb. 10, 2000)
The result: The greatest player in Mariners history was traded to his hometown to be closer to his family. Griffey was a 10-time All-Star and former MVP when he was sent to the Reds at age 30. It looked as if the Mariners got little in return. But Cameron had a nice stint in Seattle, winning a pair of Gold Gloves. The other three had little or no impact in Seattle. After a superb first season with the Reds (40 homers and 118 RBIs), Griffey was plagued by injuries. He hit 210 homers in nine seasons, but he wasn't really the same player after he left Seattle.
The deal: The Colts trade John Elway to the Broncos for Mark Herrmann, Chris Hinton and a first-round pick. (May 2, 1983)
The result: Elway refused to play for the Colts, who drafted him with the first overall pick in 1983. The demand for Elway was high, and, looking back, you have to ask if the Colts could have made a better deal with another team. Herrmann played sparingly over two seasons with the Colts. Hinton turned into an excellent offensive lineman, making six Pro Bowls with the Colts. The first-round pick ended up being guard Ron Solt, who played five seasons with the Colts with one Pro Bowl appearance. Meanwhile, Elway turned into one of the all-time greats, winning two Super Bowls and becoming a Hall of Famer.
The deal: The Saints trade their entire 1999 draft (picks in the first, third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh rounds) plus their first- and third-round picks in the 2000 draft to the Redskins for the right to select Ricky Williams. (April 17, 1999)
The result: Saints coach Mike Ditka was so certain that Williams, the Heisman Trophy running back from Texas, was a once-in-a-lifetime player that he mortgaged the Saints' future to get him. Williams wasn't all that bad with the Saints. In three seasons, he rushed for more than 1,000 yards twice. But the Saints went 3-13 the season after the trade. That first-round pick in 2000 turned out to be the second overall pick, and Ditka was fired. Interestingly, the picks the Saints traded never produced a special player, unless you want to count LaVar Arrington, who made three Pro Bowls but griped his way out of Washington.
The deal: The Canadiens trade Patrick Roy and Mike Keane to Colorado for Andrei Kovalenko, Jocelyn Thibault and Martin Rucinsky. (Dec. 6, 1995)
The result: Roy was a goalie legend in Montreal, having backstopped the Habs to the Stanley Cup in 1993. But after a fallout with coach Mario Tremblay, Roy demanded a trade. The Habs honored Roy's request and sent him to Colorado, where six months later, he led the Avalanche to the Stanley Cup. Roy, again, helped the Avs to the 2001 Stanley Cup and was named playoff MVP. Roy might have been the greatest goalie ever. Meanwhile, the Canadiens went on to win only one playoff round over the six seasons after the trade.