30 NBA players who were traded before becoming stars

Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady
Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady / Lisa Blumenfeld/GettyImages
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23. Stephon Marbury

Before Stephon Marbury's career took an unusual turn, he was a rising star with the Minnesota Timberwolves, forming a terrific pairing with Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett. However, Marbury forced the Timberwolves to trade him after he reportedly became jealous of Garnett and dissatisfied with playing in Minnesota.

That resulted in a trade with the New Jersey Nets, where he became a star over his three seasons with their team. During the 2000–01 season, he had the best season of his career, averaging a terrific 23.9 points and 7.6 assists per game but was later traded to the Phoenix Suns in a deal that brought Jason Kidd to New Jersey. Marbury would make another all-star team but he was traded for a third time to the New York Knicks, where his career began to dwindle.

He had beef with Larry Brown, Isaiah Thomas, and Mike D'Antoni, resulting in his career quickly going off the rails and him being bought out after five seasons. He ended his NBA career in Boston before reviving it by playing in China. Had Marbury not been such a diva, he and Garnett might have made for a terrific pairing long-term. Instead, while Marbury became a star, he bounced around and eventually flamed out in his earlier 30s.