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Philadelphia 76ers: A History of Bad Trades

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COMMENTARY | The Philadelphia 76ers are on the fringes of the Eastern Conference playoff race.

The trade deadline is approaching next month and improvements can be made. Philadelphia fans should not hold their breath though, and it's not just because the team has a lack of tradable assets.

The 76ers, historically speaking, don't come out on the winning side in trades.

Andrew Bynum has yet to play a game for the Philadelphia 76ers because of knee injuries. No one knows when or even if he will come back this season. He's a free-agent after this year and very well may not be a Sixer next season. The 76ers traded Andre Iguodala, Nikolas Vucevic, Moe Harkless and a lottery-protected first round pick to get Bynum and Jason Richardson.

Arnett Moultrie's rights were acquired from the Miami Heat in exchange for another lottery-protected first-round pick. He's split time between the Sixers and the D-League this season, playing in 13 games this season and averaging only 5.5 minutes per game.

These two trades, just happening in the summer of 2012, have yet to bring value to the court for Philadelphia. There's still time to salvage these deals though.

Past deals, however, cannot be saved.

The 76ers haven't just traded away good players; they've traded away super stars. They've traded away guys that were MVPs, Hall of Famers, franchise players, and fan favorites.

Coincidentally enough, many of those trades involved post-players which is a position the current team could use some reinforcements in.

What were some of those poor trades?

1968: Philadelphia trades Wilt Chamberlain to the Lakers for Jerry Chambers, Archie Clark and Darrall Imhoff

Chamberlain won one of his two NBA Championships with the 76ers and after being traded continued to be one of the best centers in league history.

Chambers never suited up for the 76ers and was traded the next season. In 239 career NBA games he averaged 8.1 points per game.

Clark played three seasons and one game for the 76ers. He averaged 16.3 points per game over his career, but his two All-Star appearances were the year before and the year after he was in Philadelphia. He was traded despite averaging 18.1 points per game with Philadelphia.

Imhoff averaged 9.6 rebounds per game in two seasons with Philadelphia, but he was mostly a back-up and was also traded quickly after arriving.

1969: Philadelphia trades Chet Walker and Shaler Hailmon to Chicago for Jim Washington

Chet Walker won an NBA Championship with Philadelphia, played in three All-Stars games and is an NBA Hall of Famer.

Washington played two full seasons and 17 games of a third season with the Sixers. His highest scoring average was 13.4 points per game in his first season with the team. No accolades would come his way.

1986: Philadelphia trades first round draft pick (Brad Daugherty) to Cleveland for Roy Hinson and cash

To be fair, a draft pick is never a sure thing. And Daugherty's career was cut short because of back problems. In those eight seasons he did play, though, he made a big impact.

Daugherty was a five-time All-Star and was named to the 1987 All-Rookie team. For three consecutive years (1990-93) he averaged 20 or more points and 10 or more rebounds. He held the Cavaliers records for most points in franchise history (10,389) and most rebounds in franchise history (5,227), both of which stood until 2008.

Hinson, coming off the best season of his career in 1985-86, played only two seasons in Philadelphia, where he posted the lowest points per game averages of his career with the exceptions of his rookie and final seasons.

1986: Philadelphia trades Moses Malone, Terry Catledge, and two first-round picks to Washington for Cliff Robinson and Jeff Ruland

In his first season with Philadelphia, Malone won the NBA Championship and the MVP award.

Malone averaged over 20 points per game in the first three seasons after he was traded and averaged over 10 rebounds per game in the first four seasons after the trade. He was a productive player for six seasons after the deal, earning three more trips to the All-Star game and All-NBA Second Team honors in 1987.

Robinson played in Philadelphia for three seasons. He averaged 19.0 points per game in 1987-88, but never played missed 115 games in three seasons, including playing only 14 games in the third year in Philadelphia.

Ruland played five games for the 76ers before injury forced him to retire in 1987. He came back in the 1991-92 season with Philadelphia, played 13 games, and then injured his Achilles.

1992: Philadelphia trades Charles Barkley to Phoenix for Jeff Hornacek, Andrew Lang and Tim Perry

The Round Mound of Rebound was a tough player to handle sometimes, yes. But the only time in his eight seasons with the Sixers he averaged fewer than 20.0 points per game and fewer than 10.0 rebounds per game was his rookie year. He also made four All-NBA First-Teams and several All-Star appearances.

Barkley would go on to win the MVP in 1993 and take the Suns to the NBA Championship game. He's one of the greatest power forwards to ever play the game and has a huge fan following.

Hornacek played a season and a half with Philadelphia (notching a career-high 6.9 assists per game in the 1992-93 season) before being traded to Utah.

Lang lasted one season with Philadelphia. He averaged 6.0 points per game and 4.8 rebounds per game over his career.

Perry lasted the longest in Philadelphia (four seasons) and averaged 6.8 points per game and 4.0 rebounds per game.

Worst of all Philadelphia went from 35 wins in Barkley's last season to 26 the next year. His final season was the only time Barkley missed the playoffs in Philadelphia, but the 76ers would miss the playoffs for the next six seasons, never won as many as 35 games and won more than 26 only once.

Phil Shore lives in New Jersey and is the creator and editor of Shore Thing Sports blog. He's been published in The Boston Globe,,, and New England Lacrosse Journal.

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