With Carmelo Anthony trade rumors swirling and talk that the Bulls need to go after a shooting guard, here's a look at teams who made midseason trades that culminated with an NBA title that season. The ESPN Stats & Information folks put together this list of players who logged at least 20 minutes per game for their new teams after the trade, and then played at least 20 minutes per game in the postseason while winning the NBA title.
1. Rasheed Wallace, 2003-04 Pistons: The Pistons acquired Wallace from the Atlanta Hawks and Mike James from the Boston Celtics on Feb. 19, 2004. At the time, Detroit was 34-22. After the trade, the Pistons went 20-6, including two eight-game winning streaks. The Pistons were heavy underdogs in the NBA Finals against the Lakers, but won 4-1.
2. Clyde Drexler, 1994-95 Rockets: The Rockets acquired Clyde Drexler (and forward Tracy Murray) from the Portland Trail Blazers for veteran forward Otis Thorpe, a 1995 first round draft choice and the draft rights to forward Marcelo Nicola on Feb. 14, 1995. Houston, the defending champion, was 30-17 at the time of the trade, but were under .500 after the trade (17-18). Houston was the No. 6 seed in the West, overcoming a 2-1 deficit to Utah in the first round and a 3-1 deficit to the Suns in the Western Conference semifinals. Houston survived five elimination games and eventually swept the Orlando Magic in the NBA Finals to become the lowest seeded team to win the NBA title (seeding began in 1984).
3. Mark Aguirre, 1988-89 Pistons: The Pistons traded Adrian Dantley and a 1991 first-round pick to the Mavericks for Mark Aguirre on Feb. 15, 1989. Aguirre played a key role for the 1988-89 Pistons, who were 32-13 before the trade, and 31-6 after. Detroit went 15-2 in the postseason, sweeping the Lakers in the 1989 NBA Finals.
4. Mychael Thompson, 1986-87 Lakers: Thompson was traded by the Spurs to the Lakers for Frank Brickowski, Petur Gudmundsson, a 1987 first-round draft pick and a 1990 second-round draft pick on Feb. 13, 1987. The Lakers were 37-12 before the trade and went 28-5 the rest of the regular season on their way to the title.