30 NBA players who were traded before becoming stars

Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady
Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady / Lisa Blumenfeld/GettyImages
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19. Penny Hardaway

Orlando Magic legend Penny Hardaway was actually drafted by the Golden State Warriors but a famous trade resulted in his being sent to the Magic. The Magic agreed to trade Chris Webber to the Warriors in exchange for Hardaway and three first-round picks. That fateful decision gave Orlando a highly skilled point forward who paired perfectly with superstar Shaquille O'Neal.

For three seasons, the Magic had one of the best teams in the NBA, with Penny averaging a stellar 18.4 points, 6.9 assists, and 2 steals per game. Serving as a worthy co-star for Shaq. However, his rising stardom alienated Shaq and the Magic's penny-pinching led Shaq to leave in the summer of 1996 for the Lakers. Without Shaq, he would have had three more strong seasons in Orlando before injuries began to take their toll.

He signed a big contract with the Phoenix Suns but wasn't nearly the same player, only averaging more than 12 points once over his final seven seasons before retiring. Despite the disappointing end to his career, Hardaway was a four-time all-star with the Magic and had Shaq not left, they may have won a championship or two.