The Long Strange Journey of Quentin Richardson

So, over on, I got to detail another Quentin Richardson trade. It’s the fourth time this offseason that Q’s been traded, which amazed me.

I wanted to look to see if this was some kind of record, but I couldn’t easily find that information. What I did find is that, technically, it’s the ninth time Richardson has been traded -- but four of them came before he was even in the league!

OK, so let’s go way back to October 9, 1997. The Knicks, Raptors and Blazers pulled off a three-team trade, in which the Knicks got a lottery-protected first-round pick from the Raptors. In that deal, Toronto got former first-round pick John Wallace. Toronto missed the playoffs in 1998, so it got to keep the pick, which it used on Antawn Jamison (who was quickly swapped for Vince Carter).

Now, in 1999, the Knicks got impatient with the Raptors, who were on their way to missing the playoffs again. New York traded the pick to the 76ers for the rights to Mirsad Turkcan, who played exactly 7 games for the Knicks (and 17 in his entire NBA career). By virtue of missing the playoffs again in ’99, the Raptors kept their pick and used it on Alek Radojevic, who played three games with Toronto, and a total of 15 in his NBA career (the next player drafted after Radojevic was Corey Maggette -- whoops).

Shortly after the Raptors drafted Radojevic, the 76ers traded Toronto’s lottery protected pick to Atlanta for first-round pick Jumaine Jones, who became the first semi-useful player acquired for this pick. However, the Hawks didn’t hold on to the pick long, sending it to the Clippers along with another future first rounder in exchange for Lorenzen Wright.

So, if you’re following along, that’s four trades of this pick, resulting in acquisitions of Lorenzen Wright, Jumaine Jones, Mirsad Turkcan and John Wallace (or the worst front-court in NBA history).

The Clippers held on to the pick and drafted Richardson, who eventually left via free agency for Phoenix. After one year with the Suns, Richardson was traded (along with the rights to Nate Robinson) for Kurt Thomas (a functional player!) and the draft rights to Dijon Thompson, who has played exactly 16 NBA games.

Richardson spent four years with the Knicks -- one for each time he would eventually be traded this summer. The Knicks traded him to Memphis in exchange for Darko Milicic, one of the worst draft picks in NBA history. The Grizzlies traded him to the Clippers in exchange for Zach Randolph, who is a good player, but an awful person. The Clippers apparently weren’t interested in a second run with Q, so they sent him to the Timberwolves in exchange for Sebastian Telfair, Craig Smith and Mark Madsen. Then Minnesota sent him to Miami (talk about an upgrade in scenery!) for Mark Blount.

So, here’s the full list of players Q has been traded for, including the times his draft pick was traded:

That’s an entire NBA roster! Now, it’s obviously very front-court heavy, but the bigger problem is that it might be the worst roster ever constructed (aside from the 2002-03 Nuggets). But hey, at least Quentin Richardson can say he’s worth an entire NBA roster.