The NBA has seen many players come through the ranks. Some have played for one team and one team only. Others have made a few stops during the course of their career. And there are some who seem to be representing a couple squads every couple of years. These travelers can either be remembered or forgotten for their miles.
With certain players making their way throughout the league, occasionally one team can slip out of memory.
These are the 10 players who played for teams you never knew about:
- Nate Robinson- Golden State Warriors
Before the Golden State Warriors were a superteam sent to destroy everything in its path, they were a team with injuries. Specifically, injuries to their point guard, Stephen Curry.
Curry only played in 26 games during the lockout-shortened 2011-2012 season due to ankle injuries. As point guard insurance, the Warriors brought in Robinson.
The three-time Slam Dunk Champion played solidly for the Dubs, averaging 11 points in 51 games. But alas, Curry’s ankles healed, and the Warriors felt little need for the 5’9 dynamo after the season.
2. J.J. Redick- Milwaukee Bucks
Sandwiched in between his six and a half seasons with the Magic and his four years with the Clippers is a little 28 game stretch with the Milwaukee Bucks.
Orlando traded Redick to Milwaukee midway through the 2012-2013 season in the trade that netted them Tobias Harris. For whatever reason, he only shot 31% from deep, which is a clear outlier for the known sharpshooter.
He played on that Bucks team that got swept by Miami in the first round, and shortly after he was off to Los Angeles. Short and definitely not sweet.
3. Goran Dragic- Houston Rockets
Again we see another player sandwiched into a team not many knew he played for.
Early in his career, Goran Dragic was seen as a player who could possibly do big things if given minutes after a standout performance against the Spurs that saw him score 23 points in the fourth quarter of Game 3.
But since he was playing behind Steve Nash in Pheonix, that opportunity wouldn’t come in the desert.
So the Suns did him a solid and shipped him off to Houston at the 2011 trade deadline. He put up roughly the same numbers in both cities, but the following year he increased his scoring from 7.7 to 11.7, and flashed the potential that many believed he had.
That summer he went back to his ex, signing with Phoenix for four years, 34$ million, and has carved out a nice career since.
4. Marcin Gortat- Orlando Magic
Believe it or not, Gortat actually has played in the NBA Finals.
He was Dwight Howard’s backup in Orlando for four seasons before being shipped off to Phoenix in the deal that brought the Magic Jason Richardson.
After the trade Gortat saw his stats increase across the board. His points went up to double digits and his rebounding has floated close to ten as well.
Needless to say, Gortat has taken full advantage of the minutes he’s been given.
5. Robin Lopez- New Orleans Hornets
Back when the Hornets were still in the Big Easy, the Hornets acquired Lopez in a three-team deal before the 2012-2013 season.
The always solid big man played all 82 games while averaging a modest 11 points and six rebounds per game before going to Portland.
6. Mo Speights- Cleveland Cavaliers
Before he became the beloved Mo Buckets of today, and before he was blowing wide open dunks against Cleveland in the Finals, Mo Speights was part of the post-Lebron Cav’s teams that weren’t all that good.
He wasn’t much of a three-point shooter, but that didn’t stop him from averaging 10.2 points over 39 games before being shipped to Memphis.
Three more teams and one championship ring later, the legend of Mo continues.
He played seven seasons in Philadelphia and has basically been doing the same thing ever since he came into the league.
The dude gets buckets wherever he goes.
8. Jeff Green- Oklahoma City Thunder
There was a time when Jeff Green was oozing potential as a combo forward who could handle the ball and space the floor. That time was spent with the OKC Thunder
Green was actually part of that young nucleus of KD, Westbrook, and Harden, and he was good, averaging roughly 14 a game in his three seasons with the Thunder.
But the Thunder believed in Serge Ibaka’s potential and needed a bruising center, so they sent Green to Boston for Kendrick Perkins.
One can only wonder what a starting five of Westbrook, Harden, Durant, Green, and Ibaka could do.
9. Kent Bazemore- Los Angeles Lakers
Right before Bazemore became a productive member of the Atlanta Hawks, he played a quick 23 game stint with the LA Lakers.
During his first two seasons as Golden State’s head cheerleader, Bazemore rarely played. But after a trade to the Lakers midway through the 2013-2014 season, Bazemore saw an increase in both playing time and production.
As his playing time quadrupled, he pumped his scoring from 2.3 to 13.1.
He’s been a solid rotation player ever since.
10. Derrick Favors- New Jersey Nets
It seems like Favors has played his entire career in a Jazz uniform, which is oh so close to being true.
He was actually drafted by the Nets, who still played in New Jersey at the time, and averaged six points and five rebounds over 56 games for them before being the main trade chip that brought Deron Williams to New Jersey.
It’s interesting to wonder after some inconsistency with the Jazz if Favor’s career would’ve turned out any better on the Nets.