Getting something for nothing
Building a team is like putting together a puzzle, with each piece complementing the other to form one collective unit.
Most teams are a mishmash of pieces that will never come together to form anything resembling a single entity. Sometimes, however, a team can find that all-important missing piece in the most unusual places.
And a lot of times, for one reason for another, that great player is acquired for nothing.
Nearly every great team that we've seen in the past 15 years, has pulled off one of these trades, including this year's Pats.
Let's review how some of these clubs, including New England, acquired their final championship piece.
It's been two years since the New England Patriots won the Super Bowl. It's been about that long since anyone has heard from Moss, who was shipped from Minnesota to the NFL's equivalent of Siberia, the Oakland Raiders in 2004. While Moss was a five-time Pro Bowler with the Vikings, he was an irritated receiver in Oakland, bickering with coaches and teammates on his way to 553 receiving yard and one touchdown last season despite starting 13 games. The Raiders dealt him to the Patriots for a second-day draft pick in April, giving
The Yankees most recent dynasty began in 1995, and no player was more influential to the turnaround of the pinstripes than Cone. He went 9-2 during the Yankees playoff push in '95 and during the next five seasons became a team leader on a squad that won four World Series. "We got him for nothing," said
It may be hard to remember, but there was a time in the late '90's when
In hindsight, this has to be one of the worst trades in sports history, but at the time it was just the opposite. The Lakers were trading a proven starting center to Charlotte for a skinny high school guard that was years away from contributing anything. Two years later, Divac was on his way out of Charlotte and Bryant was the youngest player to ever start an All-Star game. Within four years of the deal, Bryant had already become one of the best players in the NBA and was on his way to leading the Lakers to three straight championships and four Finals appearances alongside
Wallace falls under the same category as most players on this list: incredibly talented individuals with personality problems who become too much of a headache for their teams and eventually get dealt for far less than they are worth. In 2004 Wallace was traded twice in span of eight days, from Portland to Atlanta and then to Detroit. It was the Hawks' decision to ship Wallace to the Pistons, which was a power forward away from being an elite team, for a trio of role players that sent shockwaves through the NBA. "That's going to make the Pistons awfully tough," said a stunned Paul Silas after hearing of the trade. "I just don't know what some people are thinking about." Wallace was the final piece of a dream-like starting lineup that included