Sixteen years ago, the Knicks selected Trevor Ariza with the No. 43 overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft, and 18 months later, they traded him (and Penny Hardaway) to Orlando for Steve Francis at the 2006 NBA Trade Deadline.
Little did we know that another decade-and-a-half later, that would be the first step in Ariza becoming the most-traded player in NBA history...but that honor is now official.
After being traded three times this month alone, Ariza has now been a part of 10 different deals, officially making him the most-dealt player in the league’s lore.
Ariza’s trade tree has gone from New York to Orlando, to New Orleans (via a stop in Houston), to Washington, back to Houston, back to Washington (via Phoenix), to Portland (via Sacramento) – and then, just this month, from Portland to Houston to Detroit to Oklahoma City.
He may not even be done, either, as the rebuilding Thunder could easily flip Ariza’s expiring contract somewhere else in the next few months.
It was actually that deal from Houston to Detroit, number nine, that gave Ariza the record, pushing him past Chris Gatling and Dale Ellis, who were each traded eight times in their NBA careers – so the deal to OKC is just the icing on the cake.
Of course, as much of a journeyman as he has become, Ariza has been a productive NBA players over his 16 seasons, averaging 10.5 points and 4.8 rebounds per game in his career (including 10 seasons with a double-digit scoring average and six with at least five boards per game).
All that said, though, Ariza still has a ways to go to set another NBA record: most NBA teams played for. He has only suited up for nine teams (OKC will be his tenth, if he stays), so he is still a couple ticks behind the league high of 12 uniforms; that’s an honor shared by the quartet of Chucky Brown, Jim Jackson, Tony Massenburg, and Joe Smith, and one made more dubious by the fact that Jackson (No. 3) and Smith (No. 1) were high lottery picks.
Even weirder? All four were New Jersey Nets at one point, but never played for the Knicks.
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