30 NBA players who were traded before becoming stars

Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady
Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady / Lisa Blumenfeld/GettyImages
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14. Zach LaVine

NBA star Zach LaVine is among the best shooting guards in the league but it took some time before he developed into an elite player, and not for the team that drafted him. LaVine actually spent his first three seasons with the Timberwolves and was viewed as a work in progress, albeit an athletic one.

However, he quickly took off once he was traded to the Chicago Bulls in the deal for Jimmy Butler. Ironically, the deal was initially maligned at the time but Butler lasted only a season in Minnesota.

Meanwhile, LaVine became a two-time all-star, and developed into one of the best shooters in the NBA, causing the trade to look much better in retrospect. LaVine is rumored to be on the trading block now, and the Bulls were able to trade a disgruntled star for one in the making and could potentially find another if and when they decide to move on from LaVine.

It's possible that had Minnesota opted not to trade him to Chicago, LaVine wouldn't have become the player he is today. That being said, the Timberwolves likely wouldn't have been in a position to draft Anthony Edwards had he stayed and became a star so perhaps everything worked out for the best.