NBA history: All-Stars who were dealt before trade deadline

ByAlex Kennedy ESPN logo
Thursday, February 8, 2024

The 2024 NBA trade deadline is Thursday, Feb. 8, at 3 p.m. ET. While there are always a ton of rumors leading up to the deadline, how often are All-Stars actually traded? Let's take a look at the most recent examples of All-Stars who went on to play for a different team after the All-Star break (courtesy of Elias Sports Bureau).

Kevin Durant, Nets Suns (2022-23)

On Feb. 9, 2023, the Brooklyn Nets traded Kevin Durant and T.J. Warren to the Phoenix Suns in exchange for Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, Jae Crowder, four unprotected future first-round picks and a first-round pick swap. This was one of the biggest blockbuster trades in recent NBA history, as Durant is a two-time champion, two-time NBA Finals MVP, former NBA MVP and 14-time All-Star. He was disgruntled in Brooklyn and made two trade requests in eight months. In Durant's first postseason with Phoenix, the Denver Nuggets eliminated the Suns in six games in the Western Conference semifinals. Durant is still with the Suns, and he's currently averaging 28.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, 5.7 assists and 1.3 blocks per game.

Kyrie Irving, Nets Mavericks (2022-23)

After trading James Harden one year earlier, the Brooklyn Nets were ready to enter a rebuild and move their remaining stars: Irving and Durant.Irving would be traded first, followed by Durant three days later. On Feb. 6, 2023, the Nets traded Irving and Markieff Morris to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith, a first-round pick and a pair of second-round picks. Irving and Durant were selected as All-Star starters while with the Nets, but were on their new teams by the time they played in the 2023 All-Star Game. Irving finished the 2022-23 season with the Mavs, averaging 27 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds and 1.3 steals, and he ultimately signed a three-year contract to remain in Dallas.

James Harden, Nets 76ers (2021-22)

On Feb. 10, 2022, the Brooklyn Nets traded James Harden and Paul Millsap to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, Andre Drummond and two first-round picks. Both teams had a disgruntled star that they were looking to move, as Harden requested a trade from Brooklyn and Simmons requested a trade from Philly (and sat out several months). After joining the Sixers, Harden finished the 2021-22 season averaging 21 points, 10.5 assists, 7.1 rebounds and 1.2 steals. However, his stint in Philadelphia would last just 102 games (including the playoffs) before he ultimately requested another trade. Earlier this season, Philadelphia traded Harden to the Los Angeles Clippers in another blockbuster deal.

Nikola Vucevic, Magic Bulls (2020-21)

On March 25, 2021, the Orlando Magic traded Nikola Vucevic and Al-Farouq Aminu to the Chicago Bulls in exchange for Wendell Carter Jr., Otto Porter Jr. and two first-round picks. The Magic were entering a rebuild, as they also traded Aaron Gordon to the Denver Nuggets hours earlier. Vucevic played in his second NBA All-Star Game a few weeks before he was traded. After joining the Bulls, Vucevic finished the 2020-21 season averaging 21.5 points, 11.5 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game. He's still in Chicago, averaging 17.1 points, 10.6 rebounds and 3.5 per game this season.

DeMarcus Cousins, Kings Pelicans (2016-17)

On Feb. 19, 2017, the Sacramento Kings traded DeMarcus Cousins and Omri Casspi to the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway, a first-round pick and a second-round pick. The Kings and Pelicans agreed to the trade during the 2017 NBA All-Star Game in New Orleans, which featured Cousins playing for the West All-Stars. Cousins played some of his best basketball in New Orleans, averaging 24.4 points, 12.4 rebounds, 3.9 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.1 blocks to finish the 2016-17 season. The following year, Cousins averaged 25.2 points, 12.9 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 1.6 blocks and 1.6 steals, but his season would end after just 48 games due to a torn Achilles tendon.

Deron Williams, Jazz Nets (2010-11)

On Feb. 23, 2011, the Utah Jazz traded Deron Williams to the New Jersey Nets in exchange for Derrick Favors, Devin Harris, two first-round draft picks and cash considerations. The Nets pivoted to Williams after losing the Carmelo Anthony sweepstakes. Williams was a two-time All-Star at the time. The Jazz decided to trade Williams after they couldn't make progress on a new contract. Williams would stay with the Nets for four more seasons, averaging 16.7 points, 7.3 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 1.1 steals over that span and earning a third All-Star nod.

Carmelo Anthony, Nuggets Knicks (2010-11)

On Feb. 21, 2011, the Denver Nuggets traded Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Shelden Williams, Anthony Carter and Renaldo Balkman to the New York Knicks in exchange for Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, Timofey Mozgov and a first-round pick. (The Minnesota Timberwolves helped facilitate the trade, taking on Anthony Randolph and Eddy Curry in exchange for Corey Brewer). During the offseason, Anthony refused to sign a contract extension with the Nuggets, who then shifted their focus to trading the All-Star. Anthony would stay in New York for six seasons, and he would be selected as an All-Star every year.

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