30 NBA players who were traded before becoming stars

Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady
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13. Zach Randolph

Zach Randolph spent his first six seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers but didn't emerge as a standout until his third season, when his production exploded. He jumped from 8.4 points and 4.5 rebounds as a sophomore to 20.1 points and 10.5 rebounds per game in his third season, resulting in him winning Most Improved. That proved that he was ready for stardom, though there were character concerns that led the "Jail Blazers" to trade him to the Knicks, followed soon after by the Clippers.

However, he failed to make a home there, leading to his signing with the Memphis Grizzlies in the summer of 2009. That pivotal decision helped both Randolph and the Grizzlies, with Randolph spending eight seasons in Memphis, helping to rebuild their culture and making them a perennial playoff team. In fact, the Grizzlies made the postseason seven consecutive seasons with "Z-BO," after previously only making it three times in their first 14 seasons as a franchise.

Not only that, Randolph was key to the Grizzlies upsetting the top-seeded Spurs as an eighth seed in the 2011 playoffs. That marked Memphis' first time out of the first round, and Randolph even helped them make the Western Conference Finals in 2013. All told, he made two all-star appearances as a member of the Grizzlies and proved to be one of the more instrumental players in the franchise.