Trading for Hall of Famer Chris Webber essentially cost the Washington Bullets a shot at players like Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash
The 2021 Hall of Fame ceremony will finally see Chris Webber have his name etched in basketball history. A controversial figure for the most part of his career, the big man definitely deserves the recognition after being a 5-time All-NBA inclusion.
Despite having a Hall of Fame career, CWebb’s time in the NBA is still considered to be a little underwhelming. After leading Michigan’s ultra-glamorous Fab Five, he was drafted No. 1 by the Orlando Magic in 1995. Where did such a promising career go downhill?
A combination of bad luck and a huge ego certainly didn’t help CWebb’s cause. He was famously traded to the Warriors after his draft because Shaquille O’Neal preferred Penny Hardaway. He had a Rookie of the Year campaign with the Warriors. However, things were right between him and coach Don Nelson. Coach wanted him to play center, but Webber did not want to match up against Shaq, Hakeem Olajuwon, and Alonzo Mourning.
Webber would have his breakthrough with the Sacramento Kings. He had a chance to win a guaranteed ring in 2003 against Jason Kidd’s Nets. However, the Kings lost to the Kobe-Shaq Lakers in the Conference Finals.
Trading for Chris Webber cost Washington a chance to draft Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash
After falling out with HC Don Nelson during his rookie year, Webb took the opt-out clause in his contract. The superstar underwent a sign-and-trade to the Bullets in exchange for three first-round picks in 1996, 1998, and 2000. The Bullets roster was extremely promising, with young prospects like Rasheed Wallace and CWebb’s Fab Five associate Juwan Howard. However, they lacked back-court presence. The Bullets traded their #11 pick to the Warriors, and their #12 pick to the Cavs for Mark Price.
With two precious picks in the loaded draft of 1996 gone, the Bullets missed on golden chances of picking talents such as Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, and Peja Stojakovic.
— Tim van Straten (@BigTimeTimJim) September 9, 2021
The results were underwhelming, to say the least. The team only made playoffs once and was swept in the first round.
Chris Webber really had all the tools for becoming a superstar in the league for years to come. As the 5-time All-Star gets nominated to the Hall of Fame, we can only wonder how his career could have panned out. After having a successful post-NBA career as an analyst, he left Turner Sports last year, and it will be interesting to see his next move.