30 NBA players who were traded before becoming stars

Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady
Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady / Lisa Blumenfeld/GettyImages
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7. Steve Nash

Former two-time league MVP Steve Nash started his career in Phoenix and spent his first two seasons there but failed to play a major role there before being traded. Nash was shipped to the Dallas Mavericks, where he spent six seasons.

There, he became a two-time all-star, helping Dirk Nowitzki turn the Mavericks into a title contender. Of course, they didn't ultimately win a championship thanks to a crowded Western Conference that featured teams such as the Big 3 Spurs, the Webber Kings, and the Shaq and Kobe Lakers.

Had it not been for that, a team led by two Hall of Famers would have assuredly won at least a couple of titles. Unfortunately for Nash and Dirk, his time there was cut short after the Mavericks low-balled him on a new contract. That resulted in him returning to Phoenix, where he immediately transformed the Suns into a title contender while also helping to revolutionize NBA offenses.

In fact, Nash won back-to-back MVP's—and nearly a third—in 2006. Had the Suns not traded him early in his career, he might have led them to a championship but his second stint in Phoenix solidified his status as an NBA legend.