4 Biggest Washington Wizards Trades

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Chris Webber playing in the NBA Asia Challenge 2010 in the Philippines.
(Wikimedia Commons/inboundpass)
Anatoly Pimentel @AnatolyPimentel Jul 13, 2023, 4:38 PM
  • Here are the biggest Washington Wizards trades in franchise history.
  • Elvin Hayes leads the list of players Washington acquired via trade.
  • Other big names include Moses Malone, Chris Webber, and Antawn Jamison.

Since joining the league as an expansion team in 1961, the Washington Wizards (entered the league as the Chicago Packers) found success in the NBA by booking four NBA Finals trips and winning one in 1978. Thanks to this title, they avoided the list of NBA teams that never won a championship. One of the main reasons for the team’s success is their capability to acquire players that bolstered their roster.

One of the most recent big trades they made was the acquisition of Russell Westbrook, a former league MVP and multiple-time All-Star from the Houston Rockets, in exchange for John Wall and a first-round pick in December 2020. That trade helped them qualify for the playoffs for the first time since 2018. Aside from the Westbrook trade, who are the big names that the Wizards received via trade, which increased their basketball odds of winning a title?

Elvin Hayes

The acquisition of Elvin Hayes in 1972 is undoubtedly the best trade Washington ever made in franchise history. They received Hayes from the Houston Rockets in a one-for-one swap with Jack Marin. This huge trade formed the forward duo of Hayes and Wes Unseld, which resulted in three NBA Finals appearances and one title throughout nine seasons.

Hayes also became a Washington legend by putting up a double-double output of 21.3 points and 12.7 rebounds with 2.4 blocks in 731 games with the team. “The Big E” is still the franchise leader in different categories such as points (15,551), blocks (1,558), field goals made (6,251), and free throws made (3,046).

Moses Malone

In 1986, Washington acquired Moses Malone from the Philadelphia 76ers after a failed bid to win another title. In addition to Malone, the Wizards (formerly known as the Bullets) also received Terry Catledge and two first-round picks for Cliff Robinson and Jeff Ruland. Malone instantly brought his double-double numbers to the team.

Although “Big Mo” only played two seasons in Washington, his stint was productive because he helped them reach the postseason on both occasions. Unfortunately, they failed to get out of the opening round and got eliminated quickly. Malone tallied a career double-double average of 22.2 points, 11.2 rebounds, with 1.5 assists in 153 games for the Bullets. After his contract expired, he signed with Atlanta as a free agent in 1988.

Chris Webber

The rift between Chris Webber and Don Nelson in Golden State resulted in a big trade that landed Washington the 1994 Rookie of the Year recipient. Washington gave up Tom Gugliotta and two first-round picks for Webber in the deal. Webber played four seasons in Washington, leading them to one postseason run in 1997.

“C-Web” racked up an average of 20.9 points, 9.7 rebounds, and 4.4 assists in 212 games in The District. Webber was also selected to his first All-Star Game in 1997 as a Wizard. Because of the two first-round picks that Washington included in this trade with Webber, they missed the opportunity to draft Kobe Bryant and Vince Carter.

Antawn Jamison

After seven years of a playoff drought, Washington made a big move in the summer of 2004 when they gave up Jerry Stackhouse, Christian Laettner, and their 2004 fifth overall pick to Dallas for Antawn Jamison, who was fresh off his Sixth Man of the Year season with the Mavericks. Jamison’s role in Washington immediately changed as he became a starter on the team.

The former fourth overall pick in the NBA Draft spearheaded the Wizards’ four successive postseason campaigns from 2005 to 2008; however, they never made it past the second round. In 421 games, Jamison put up 20.8 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 1.8 assists as a Wizard before being shipped in another trade with the Cavaliers and Clippers in 2010.

Washington Wizards Biggest Trades

Player Acquired Trade DetailsYear
Elvin HayesWizards received: Elvin Hayes / Rockets received: Jack Marin1972
Moses MaloneWizards received: Moses Malone, Terry Catledge, and two first-round picks / Sixers received: Cliff Robinson and Jeff Ruland1986
Chris WebberWizards received: Chris Webber / Warriors received: Tom Gugliotta and two first-round picks1994
Antawn JamisonWizards received: Antawn Jamison / Mavericks received: Jerry Stackhouse, Christian Laettner, and their 2004 fifth overall pick2004

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About the Author

Anatoly Pimentel

Read More @AnatolyPimentel

Anatoly Pimentel is an NBA and MMA writer previously featured in ASEAN Sports, Asian Persuasion MMA, and Overtime Heroics MMA. He graduated from Adamson University with a B.A in Communication and is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM.

Anatoly Pimentel is an NBA and MMA writer previously featured in ASEAN Sports, Asian Persuasion MMA, and Overtime Heroics MMA. He graduated from Adamson University with a B.A in Communication and is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM.