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Top Five Philadelphia Athletes traded away in their prime

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In a town known for sometimes holding on to their star athletes for too long, there have also been occurrences when Philadelphia sports teams part company with players when their value is quite high. Some trades were completely unexpected. Some were long overdue, and some were simply a matter of time before they actually happened. Off the top of my head, no Flyers or Eagles really came to mind. So feel free to debate, and in the meantime, stay inside!!

5. Moses Malone

June 16,1986. Ugh, where do we begin? Although his numbers had dropped slightly that season, Moses Malone was still a force for the Sixers in This cover NEVER gets old.the paint. However, former Sixers owner Harold Katz refused to renegotiate Malone's contract when the season began. This started a soap opera that only Philadelphia sports can produce (what is the deal with Philly athletes and their contracts decimating entire franchises?). At the end of March, Malone was lost for the season due to an eye injury. Nonetheless, the Sixers (sans Malone) still came within one game of the Eastern Conference Finals. During the playoffs, Malone was not seen at any of the Sixers playoff games, but instead was in Houston for the Rockets' playoff run. Due to the teams strong play in Malone's absence, Sixers brass started believing that the team could win without Malone. So, they (ie: Katz as the man with the deciding vote) shipped him to the Washington Bullets with Terry Catledge and two first round picks for Cliff Robinson and Jeff Ruland. Championship caliber teams like the Lakers gather high draft picks and select Magic Johnson  and James Worthy. The Sixers traded their number one overall pick that same day for Roy Hinson. Title Tally since 1986: Lakers- 6 Sixers- 0. In looking back at this trade, it is no surprise that the Sixers dealt Malone due to his shenanigans that season. In all likelihood, the trade is probably hated more for the sheer absurdity of the parties that were involved than if the Sixers traded Malone and received comparable value for him. Malone made seveal more All-Star teams and he eventually kissed and made up with Katz, but the damage had been done. With the exception of the Allen Iverson  era, the Sixers have never completely recovered from this trade.

 

4. Charles Barkley

Let's face it: the 1991-92 Sixers season was nothing but a total disaster for everyone involved in the organization. Barkley didn't want to be there, Those 1991-92 Sixers uniforms are all you need to know about Charles Barkley's final year as a Sixer.the Sixers were beginning a steep decline, and it was only a matter of time before the two parted company. Confrontations with teammates that season (Armon "my Gumby hair stinks" Gilliam and Charles "Rebound" Shackleford) along with some off-the court incidents made it obvious to all that Sir Charles' days in Sixerville were numbered. Shortly after Barkley was acquitted for his actions in a Milwaukee bar fight during that season, he was traded to the Suns. You know the rest of the story: Doug Moe went to the movies. Barkley went to the NBA Finals with Phoenix (and won the league MVP), and Sixers fans received their complimentary punch in the gut for the decade.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Cliff Lee

He was only here a little less than four months, but "the other pitcher" who Ruben Amaro acquired in lieu of newest Phillie Roy Halladay  quickly Cliff Lee's time in Philly was short-but unforgetable.silenced his critics (including myself), winning his first five decisions and going 4-0 with a 1.56 ERA in the 2009 Postseason. Everybody knew it was going to be hard bringing Lee back after 2010 with his impending free agency. Only thing was, nobody knew his time here would be THIS short. Fans were salivating at the prospect of having Lee and Halladay on the same pitching staff. But when rumors started flying that the Phils would have to deal Lee to get Halladay, their ecstacy was short-lived. Could the Phillies have kept Lee and taken some of a financial hit? Ruben Amaro says it may have been possible, but he is thinking long term with this franchise. As a result, fans will always be left wondering what might have been in 2010 with the two headed monster of Halladay-Lee. No other athlete in the history of our town has had that much of an impact on his team in such a short amount of time (that includes YOU Terrell Owens). Over the last few days, Lee has come out publicly stating that his trade to the Mariners completely took him by surprise. Us too Cliff, us too. Allegedly, Lee's agent and Ruben Amaro were discussing contract extensions the day he was traded. No matter what transpired during the beginning of this crazy week, Cliff Lee, we hardly knew you. But it was fun, and Philly2Philly.com wishes you the best of luck- except for when you play the Fightins, of course.

2. Curt Schilling

While Curt Schilling was at times controversial, he usually always backed up his talk.The 2000 Phillies season that started with such promise turned into the typical debacle of a laughingstock that fans had grown accustomed to. Curt Schilling didn't want to play for the Phillies anymore, and who could blame him? The lone holdover from the 1993 NL Champions, this Phillies team was wallowing in last place and Schilling had had enough. What is it with Philly teams making blockbuster deals with Arizona sports teams and we always get the short end of the deal? A year later, Schilling was hoisting a World Series Trophy. He could have handled things differently (and chances are he was whispering in Scott Rolen's ear, too), but Schilling almost always backed up his talk with his actions on the field. When all was said and done, he would win two more titles with the Red Sox. Could the Phillies have possibly reacquired Schilling after he "demanded" a trade from Arizona in 2003? Quite possibly, but there wasn't enough water under the bridge between Schilling and GM Ed Wade. Moreover, chances are the Phillies wouldn't have traded the prospects needed to get him (which probably would have included some guys named Hamels and Utley).

 

 

 

1. Wilt Chamberlain

Most of you reading this probably weren't even alive for this trade. However, when one of the most heralded athletes of the 20th Century in involved in When you think of Wilt Chamberlain, the number 20,000 comes to mind as opposed to 100....a blockbuster deal, placing Wilt Chamberlain  at number one is a no-brainer. At 31 years of age, Chamberlain had just received his fourth MVP Award and was clearly at the top of his game. Only a year after the Sixers won the NBA Championship in 1967, Chamberlain was was dealt to the Lakers. The reasons why Chamberlain was actually traded remain unclear more than forty years later. Some say it was over disagreements about possible ownership of the Sixers after he retired. Some say Sixers management was just tired of his selfish play on the court. Some say Chamberlain (much like Shaquille O'Neal  in Orlando) was becoming too big for Philly. It seemed Chamberlain was always making headlines or stirring up controversy of some sort during his NBA days. Despite the baggage that Chamberlain sometimes carried, he went on to help the Lakers win four conference titles and one NBA Title in 1972. That same year, the team set a modern-day NBA record with 33 consecutive victories. "The Big Dipper" somewhat altered his game for his new team, but his presence was still undeniable. In Chamberlain's final season of 1972-73, the Lakers again went to the NBA Finals. The Sixers finished 9-73.

 

 

Honorable mention: Scott Rolen, Dick Allen, Rick Tocchet

 

Chamberlain photo: http://blogs.phillyburbs.com

Schilling photo: http://i.cdn.turner.com/sivault/multimedia/photo_gallery/0904/this.day.sports.history.april2/images/curt-schilling.jpg

Barkley Photo: http://espn.go.com/photo/2006/0731/pg2_g_barkley01_500.jpg

Lee photo: www.phillysportsblogs.com

Malone photo: www.sportsillustrated.com