After experiencing the disappointment of losing in the NBA Finals the previous year, the Los Angeles Lakers came into the 2008-09 season determined to finish the job. Though the team had been dominant during the regular season, the team was not afraid to make any moves to improve.
With Vladimir Radmanovic conceding minutes to the likes of Trevor Ariza and Luke Walton, he became expendable for the Lakers. As such, they traded the forward to the Charlotte Bobcats in exchange for Adam Morrison, and a little known guard named Shannon Brown.
While Morrison was the headline name, it was Brown who made the biggest impact for the Lakers, becoming a crucial cog off the bench for two championship teams, in addition to becoming one of the most popular Lakers of this era.
Though he didn’t play much during the season, he stepped up in the playoffs becoming the team’s first guard off the bench. His athleticism allowed him to defend some tough players, as well as make some insane plays on offense.
The next season, Brown would come into his own averaging eight points in 21 minutes per game. His highlight reel athleticism made him a fan favorite amongst the Staples Center faithful, and he appeared in the 2010 Slam Dunk Contest.
Morrison, on the other hand, never caught on and played very little for the Lakers. He got himself two rings for being on the roster, but never made an impact on the court and will go down as one of the biggest draft busts in modern history.
This trade didn’t seem like a big deal when it occurred, but Brown made an impact in his time with the Lakers. It just goes to show that every player in a trade can make a difference if given the opportunity.