Trevor Ariza has been traded nine times in his NBA career, making him the most-traded player in the league today. The journeyman forward began his career as a second-round pick of the New York Knicks in 2004, and since then, he’s had stints with 8 other teams, including the Orlando Magic, Houston Rockets, Phoenix Suns, and Los Angeles Lakers.
Ariza’s long list of trades is reflective of his versatility. He can play both small and power forward positions equally well, making him attractive to teams looking for an experienced veteran on short notice.
Most traded NBA players:
TREVOR ARIZA – 9 times
Trevor Ariza is one of the most traded NBA players in recent years, having been involved in four trades since 2015. The 33-year-old forward began his journey with the New York Knicks in 2004 and has played for nine teams since then. He was most recently traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder during the 2019 offseason.
CHRIS GATLING – 8 times
The Miami Heat initially drafted Chris Gatling with the 16th overall pick in 1991 and then bounced around to eight teams in his 11-year career. The veteran forward has played on some of the biggest stages with juggernaut contenders such as the Los Angeles Lakers, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, Milwaukee Bucks, and Golden State Warriors.
DALE ELLIS – 8 times
Dale Ellis is a former American professional basketball player drafted by the Dallas Mavericks in 1983 and played for eight teams. His travels took him from Dallas to Seattle, Milwaukee, Minnesota, Indiana, San Antonio, Toronto, and Cleveland before finally landing with the Denver Nuggets in 1998.
MARCUS CAMBY – 7 times
Marcus Camby has been among the most traded players in the NBA since entering the league in 1996. He has been involved in a total of seven trades to date. The journeyman center began his career with the Toronto Raptors before being traded to the Knicks in 1998.
SAM CASSELL – 7 times
Sam Cassell is a three-time NBA Champion who has been traded multiple times throughout his career. In 1993, he was initially drafted in the first round by the Houston Rockets and went on to be traded 7 different times during his 15 years in the league.
Joe Smith – 7 times
Joe Smith, The former Golden State Warriors and Philadelphia 76ers power forward, has been sent packing seven times throughout his two-decade career. Smith began his NBA journey with the Warriors, who drafted him with the first overall pick in 1995.
Jim Jackson – 7 times
Jim Jackson has played for 7 teams since entering the league in 1992, with stints on the Dallas Mavericks, Philadelphia 76ers, Portland Trail Blazers, and more. His journeyman status has earned him a spot among the all-time greats in terms of being moved from team to team.
Luke Ridnour – 7 times
Ridnour was drafted in 2003 by the Seattle Supersonics and played with them for five seasons before he was shipped off to Milwaukee Bucks. He was traded 7 times in his career.
Otis Thorpe – traded 7 times
Since entering the league, Thorpe has been sent to various teams seven times. The first trade happened during the 1990-91 season when he was traded from Houston Rockets to Sacramento Kings for Joe Kleine and a future draft pick. After that, he moved around frequently – from Detroit Pistons to Toronto Raptors to Vancouver Grizzlies. His last swap came in 2000 when he went from Los Angeles Clippers to Portland Trail Blazers for a future second-round draft pick.
Don MacLean – traded 7 times
Don MacLean has been traded seven times since entering the NBA in 1989. During his 14-year career, MacLean played for eight different teams, becoming one of the most well-traveled players in league history.
Is there a trade limit in NBA?
NBA teams can trade their players as they see fit with no set limits or restrictions. However, if a team trades away a player, they must also receive something in return – another player or draft pick in exchange for them. This means that while trades are permitted and encouraged in the league, teams cannot simply “give away” players without getting anything back.
Has any traded player won MVP?
During the 1986-87 season, Moses Malone became the first and only player to win an MVP with a team other than the one he originally drafted. He was initially chosen by the Buffalo Braves but was then dealt to Houston Rockets via a trade midway through his career. The next season he led his new team to victory and earned himself an MVP.
Can a player deny a trade in NBA?
While teams ultimately make trades, players have some leverage when approving them. If a player does not approve of the terms of a trade, he may refuse it and remain with his current team until further negotiations occur or other options become available.
Can you trade hurt players?
It may be possible to trade hurt players, but it depends on the situation. If a team feels like the player’s value has been reduced because of their injury, they may be open to making a deal. However, teams need to assess how long recovery from an injury might take before deciding whether or not to move forward with a trade involving that player. Teams also need to consider if there are any risks associated with acquiring an injured player and how these risks would affect their team’s performance in the future.
Why does the NBA trade players?
A primary reason for trading is financial considerations. Trades can help a team save money by moving excess salaries or trading expensive contracts for a cheaper salary cap figure. Additionally, teams may want to unload veterans with long-term deals to get more flexibility in signing new talent. In some cases, teams need to balance their roster with different positions or skillsets from other organizations, thus making trades an attractive option for improving their lineup quickly and efficiently.
Trevor Ariza is undoubtedly the NBA player who has been traded the most. His career has been defined by his adaptability and willingness to move between teams to maximize his potential as a player. Even though he has been traded countless times, he always finds ways to impact every team he plays for, athletically and through his leadership qualities. Through all of his moves, Trevor Ariza remains one of the most respected players in the league.
Clyde Jackson III is a basketball coach and the founder of GCBC Basketball, a basketball-related learning and informational website that focuses on helping young players develop their skills on and off the court. With over 15 years of coaching experience, Clyde has worked with players of all ages and skill levels, from beginners to professionals.