Looking back, looking forward

The Baltimore Sun

Five draft-day trades with biggest consequences of past 20 years

1987: Seattle traded the rights to Scottie Pippen to Chicago for the draft rights to Olden Polynice, a second-round pick in 1988 or 1989 and the right to swap first-round picks in 1988 or 1989. The deal set the Bulls up for their dynastic run of the 1990s, giving Michael Jordan the running mate he needed to reign over the NBA.

1993: Orlando traded the rights to Chris Webber to Golden State for the rights to Penny Hardaway and three future first-round draft choices. The Magic got to the Finals two years after the trade, and Webber never quite panned out with the Warriors.

1996: The Los Angeles Lakers agreed to trade Vlade Divac to Charlotte for the rights to Kobe Bryant. One of the last of the Lakers' great draft heists (see Magic Johnson and James Worthy) achieved the same results a few years later.

2001: New Jersey traded the rights to Eddie Griffin to Houston for the rights to Richard Jefferson, Jason Collins and Brandon Armstrong. Jefferson and Collins became starters on two Nets teams that reached the Finals, and Griffin has drifted out of the league.

2004: Washington traded Jerry Stackhouse, Christian Laettner and the rights to Devin Harris for Antawn Jamison. It was a rare win-win deal, as the Wizards got a second scoring cog to go along with Gilbert Arenas and the Mavericks got a solid sixth man in Stackhouse and a good young point guard in Harris.

Five executives on hot seat tonight

Philadelphia's Billy King: With three first-round picks (two obtained in the Allen Iverson trade), King can't afford to get any of them wrong.

Lakers' Mitch Kupchak: Can he get enough in a trade to make Bryant happy, or can he get enough in a Bryant trade to make owner Jerry Buss happy? His job rides on it.

Boston's Danny Ainge: He likely needs another team in the mix to swing a deal for Kevin Garnett.

Minnesota's Kevin McHale: He should have traded Garnett a year ago when he had maximum value. Now, he won't get enough in a trade to stay employed.

Phoenix's Steve Kerr: He should resist pressure to deal Shawn Marion or Amare Stoudemire.

Five potential non-lottery steals

Rice guard Morris Almond: Supposedly the best pure shooter in the draft, he might not get called before Detroit at 15 because he is turnover-prone.

Pittsburgh center Aaron Gray: A bit plodding for most tastes, but he could steal 15-20 minutes a game as a backup.

Virginia Tech guard Zabian Dowdell: He could make someone a nice combo rotation guard in the second round.

Arizona guard-forward Marcus Williams: He left the Wildcats after two years with reputation as a head case but has solid swingman skills and body.

Eastern Washington guard Rodney Stuckey: Few have heard of him or his conference (Big Sky), but he reportedly has big-time scoring ability.

Five best Baltimore/Washington Bullets/Wizards draft choices who got away

1967: Earl Monroe (to New York for Mike Riordan, Dave Stallworth and cash in 1971).

1994: Juwan Howard (to Dallas for Laettner, Etan Thomas and others in 2001).

1995: Rasheed Wallace (to Portland for Rod Strickland in 1996).

1999: Richard Hamilton (to Detroit for Jerry Stackhouse in 2002).

2002: Juan Dixon (signed as free agent by Portland in 2005).

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