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10 Biggest NBA Trade Deadline Deals

By Ryan Mayer

The NBA trade deadline looms on Thursday, but it's been quiet over the past couple of years and figures to be again this season. Let's take a look back at some of the biggest (though not always the best) trades made on deadline day in league history. Listed from oldest to newest:

PHOENIX - JUNE 20: Kevin Johnson #7 of the Phoenix Suns looks to make a play against the Chicago Bulls during Game Six of the 1993 NBA Championship Finals at America West Arena on June 20, 1993 in Phoenix, Arizona. Chicago won 99-98, taking the Series 4-2. (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images)

Feb 25, 1988- The Phoenix Suns made the deal that would be the beginnings of the team that made the Finals in the 1992-93 season by trading F Larry Nance, F Mike Sanders, and a 1988 1st round pick to Cleveland in exchange for G Kevin Johnson, F Tyrone Corbin, C Mark West, 1988 1st and 2nd round picks & a 1989 2nd rounder. The 1988 1st rounder would be used on Dan Majerle. Johnson would go on to average 17 points and 9 assists per game over 12 seasons for the Suns. Phoenix would average 56 wins over the next seven seasons.

13 Dec 2000: Tim Hardaway #10 of the Miami Heat looks on during the game against the Los Angeles Clippers at the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. The Heat defeated the Clippers 94-88. Harry How /Allsport

Feb 22, 1996- Miami got the point guard to pair with Alonzo Mourning when they traded G Bimbo Coles and F Kevin Willis for G Tim Hardaway and F Chris Gatling. Hardaway would average 17 points and 7 assists per game over six seasons for the Heat. He combined with Mourning to lead Miami to a Eastern Conference Finals appearance in 1996-97.

INDIANAPOLIS - JUNE 11: Mark Jackson #13 of the Indiana Pacers smiles from the bench against the Los Angeles Lakers during Game Three of the 2000 NBA Finals played June 11, 2000 at Conseco Field House in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

Feb 20, 1997- The Indiana Pacers brought back point guard Mark Jackson after letting him go in the off-season by trading G/F Vincent Askew, F Eddie Johnson and two 2nd round picks to Denver for Jackson and F/C LaSalle Thompson. Jackson was an integral part of the Pacers teams that would make three appearances in the Eastern Conference Finals and one Finals appearance (which they lost in 6 to the Lakers) over the next three seasons.

09 APR 2002: Dikembe Mutombo #55 of the Philadelphia 76ers holds the ball away from the reaching Ervin Johnson #40 of the Milwaukee Bucks during the first half of the NBA game at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Gary Dineen/NBAE/Getty Images

Feb 22, 2001- The 76ers were always trying to find a second banana to play alongside Allen Iverson and hadn't been able to do so until this trade with Atlanta in 2001. Philly traded C Theo Ratliff, F Toni Kukoc, C Nazr Mohammed, and G Pepe Sanchez to the Hawks in exchange for C Dikembe Mutombo and F Roshown McLeod. Mutombo in 26 games with the Sixers that year averaged 11 points, 12 rebounds and 2 blocks per game as Philly made it all the way to the Finals before losing to the Lakers in 5 games.

MILWAUKEE - MAY 1: Gary Payton #20 of the Milwaukee Bucks waits for play to resume in Game six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the New Jersey Nets during the 2003 NBA Playoffs at Bradley Center on May 1, 2003 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Nets won 113-101. (Photo by: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
BOSTON - MARCH 9: Ray Allen #34 of the Seattle SuperSonics drives past Allen Ray #12 of the Boston Celtics on March 9, 2007 at the TD Banknorth Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)

Feb 20, 2003- The Bucks and Sonics decided to swap star guards in this deal with Seattle sending G Gary "The Glove" Payton and F Desmond Mason to Milwaukee for G Ray Allen, G Kevin Ollie, G Ronald Murray and a conditional draft pick. The trade didn't really move the needle for either team as both continued to struggle with the best finish being a Western Conference Semis appearance by Allen and the Sonics in 04-05.

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 28: Kendrick Perkins #5 of the Oklahoma City Thunder dunks against the New York Knicks during the game on January 28, 2015 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York(Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

Feb 24, 2011- This was a busy trade deadline day with three HUGE deals getting done. First Boston traded G Nate Robinson and C Kendrick Perkins to Oklahoma City for F Jeff Green, C Nenad Kristic and a future 1st round pick. Perkins would help the Thunder reach the Finals the next season. Perkins has since turned into a less than serviceable player for the Thunder but in season 1 he was helpful at least.

WASHINGTON, DC -� FEBRUARY 7: Deron Williams #8 of the Brooklyn Nets shoots a free throw against the Washington Wizards during the game on February 7, 2015 at Verizon Center in Washington, DC. (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)

Our second trade from the 2011 deadline is one that has not really worked out for the Nets as they traded F Derrick Favors, G Devin Harris, 2011 & 2012 1st round picks to Utah in exchange for G Deron Williams. Williams then signed a 5 year $98 million contract after the 2011-12 season. The Nets have made the playoffs just twice with Williams since the trade. But it wasn't the biggest trade of the 2011 deadline.

MIAMI, FL - FEBRUARY 9: Carmelo Anthony #7 of the New York Knicks shoots against the Miami Heat on February 9, 2015 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Isaac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)

That honor goes to the New York Knicks who traded their entire house and kitchen sink to the Nuggets for Carmelo Anthony who probably would've signed with the Knicks the following summer as a free agent anyway. In a three team deal the Knicks trades G Raymond Felton, F Wilson Chandler, F Danilo Gallinari, C Timofey Mozgov, a 2014 1st round pick, and 2012, 2013 second rounders, for F Carmelo Anthony, G Chauncey Billups, F Renaldo Balkman, G Anthony Carter, and C Shelden Williams. New York made the playoffs that season and each of the two following years, but have been a dumpster fire since and now Melo will sit out the rest of this year in all likelihood after having season ending surgery. Well, we did say the biggest trades in deadline history, not necessarily the best.

ATLANTA, GA - FEBRUARY 06: Al Horford #15 of the Atlanta Hawks drives against Andrew Bogut #12 of the Golden State Warriors at Philips Arena on February 6, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

March 13, 2012- A later deadline because of the lockout produced two trades that shaped contenders today. Golden State broke up its Ellis and Curry back-court by trading Ellis along with centers Kwame Brown and Ekpe Udoh to Milwaukee for C Andrew Bogut and G/F Stephen Jackson. Bogut has been the anchor of a top 5 defense for the Warriors when healthy over the past couple seasons since the deal and a big reason why Golden State is considered a favorite to escape the Western Conference.

WASHINGTON, DC -� FEBRUARY 7: Nene #42 of the Washington Wizards handles the ball against the Brooklyn Nets during the game on February 7, 2015 at Verizon Center in Washington, DC. (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Wizards also built for the future on this deadline day trading G Nick Young to the Grizzlies and C Javale McGee and F Ronny Turiaf to Denver for F Nene, F Brian Cook and a 2nd round pick. Nene has been paired with C Marcin Gortat to form a formidable front-court in Washington that has helped the Wizards to the playoffs last year and the 4th spot in the Eastern Conference this season.

The deadline has been pretty much dead over the last two years with teams becoming more wary about these kinds of blockbuster trades, but here's hoping that something develops this season.

 Want to see more from Ryan? Email him or find him on twitter @r_mayer

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