John Rohde: This round of mid-season trades unlike any other in the NBA

BY JOHN ROHDE Modified: February 26, 2011 at 7:45 pm •  Published: February 26, 2011

Whenever a pro athlete switches teams, whether it's because of a trade or a better offer, it's just the nature of the beast.

Lately, however, fans have failed to acknowledge it's a two-way street. It doesn't matter if owners dictate the circumstances, or if superstars are calling the shots.

Never has there been a more star-studded free-agent class than last summer's, and never have more prominent players been traded in mid-season than last week.

Free agent LeBron James wanted out of Cleveland, and he took his talents to South Beach. Ditto for Toronto's Chris Bosh.

Denver's Carmelo Anthony wanted to be with the New York Knicks, and he is.

Utah's Deron Williams became belligerent, and you can now find him in New Jersey.

The Thunder's Kevin Durant wanted to stay in Oklahoma City, and thank goodness he is.

Thursday's trade deadline was cruel for multiple parties, but such is often the case.

Anthony got his wish, and in the process uprooted the lives of innocent bystanders, including sweetheart teammate Chauncey Billups.

Thunder general manager Sam Presti got brutish center Kendrick Perkins, and now Jeff Green is gone. Also gone are Nenad Krstic, Morris Peterson and D.J. White, and nary a word has been uttered of them ever since.

They had become former Thunder players, and there wasn't a darn thing they could do about it. No final bow. No curtain call. No nothing.

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GREATEST MIDSEASON TRADES

Exactly when is the proper time to evaluate a midseason trade? Do you judge the moment it happens, wait until the end of the season, or wait until the end of time? We choose to wait concerning the overflow midseason trade Class of 2011. As for the biggest midseason trades ever, here's our top five:

* 5. (Feb. 14, 1995): Portland Trail Blazers trade Clyde Drexler and Tracy Murray to the Houston Rockets for Otis Thorpe, draft rights to Marcelo Nicola and a first-round draft pick (Randolph Childress). Result: Hall-of-Famer Drexler (21.4 ppg; 7.0 rpg; 4.4 apg) returned to his collegiate hometown, helped the Rockets secure their second straight world title that season, was an All-Star the next two seasons and retired in 1998.

* 4. (Dec. 24, 1981): New Jersey Nets trade Bob McAdoo for a 1983 second-round pick (Kevin Williams) and cash. Result: McAdoo became a valuable sixth man for Lakers the next four seasons, going to four straight NBA Finals and winning two world titles.

* 3. (Feb. 19, 2004): A three-team deal sends Rasheed Wallace and Mike James to the Detroit Pistons, Chucky Atkins and Lindsey Hunter to the Boston Celtics and Bobby Sura, Zeljko Rebraca and Chris Mills to the Atlanta Hawks. Result: Thanks in large part to Wallace (13.7 ppg; 7.0 rpg), the Pistons won the NBA title that season. Wallace then became a two-time All-Star in Detroit.

* 2. (Feb. 1, 2008): Los Angeles Lakers trade Kwame Brown, Javaris Crittenton, draft rights to Marc Gasol, the Lakers' first-round picks in 2008 (Donte Greene) and 2010 (Greivis Vasquez) and cash to Memphis for Pau Gasol and the Grizzlies' 2010 second-round pick (Devin Ebanks). Result: The Lakers should have been written up for felony charges on this one – in English and Spanish. Pau Gasol became LA's missing link and the Lakers have been to three straight finals and won two straight titles.

* 1. (Jan. 15, 1965): San Francisco Warriors trade Wilt Chamberlain to the Philadelphia 76ers for Connie Dierking, Lee Shaffer, Paul Neumann and cash considerations. Result: On his way back to Philly, Wilt was averaging 38.9 points and 23.5 rebounds at the time. Dierking and Neumann were averaging 22.2 points and 8.9 rebounds combined and Shaffer wasn't even playing.

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