In 2016, the Indiana Pacers and Brooklyn Nets made a trade that at the time did not seem to be a huge deal.
The Nets were entering another rebuilding year, and traded a 28 year old Thad Young to the Pacers in exchange for the 20th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft (see Tweets below from Brian Lewis and Josh Newman from 2016).
The 20th overall pick the Pacers selected (for the Nets) was Caris LeVert.
He was a talented player at the University of Michigan, but he was also coming off an injury in college (see Tweet below from NetsDaily).
Young was a respectable veteran who was coming off a season with the Nets where he averaged 15.1 points and 9.0 rebounds per game.
The trade for the Nets could have been a bad one if LeVert did not pan out.
However, the trade ended up being a so-so one for the Pacers.
Young did well in his three seasons in Indiana, but LeVert turned into a really good player, and as of today Young is 33 years old, while LeVert is only 27.
Last season, LeVert averaged 20.2 points per game.
Yet, the trade actually did not end so poorly for the Pacers in the end.
LeVert is now on the Pacers.
The Nets were able to use LeVert in the three-team trade (between the Pacers, Nets and Houston Rockets) that landed them superstar James Harden last season.
The full details of the three-team trade can be seen in a post that is embedded below from Bleacher Report.
If the Nets never made the trade to draft LeVert, who knows if they would have been able to get Harden?