Only the Bobcats can salvage the most depressing NBA trade ever

Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

On June 23, 2011, three teams executed a trade so rife with potential disaster it threatened to destroy them all. Only the Bobcats can save us now.

Jimmer Fredette will likely be officially waived by the Sacramento Kings this week, ending an era of ... well, lots of time of the bench. (Fredette has averaged 15 minutes per game with 34 DNPs over three years in Sacramento.) Akis Yerocostas wrote a lovely sendoff to Jimmer and his unfulfilled promise over at Sactown Royalty; Fredette will no doubt play again this season, probably in the postseason, too. It's not all a loss for him. Not by a longshot.

What is a loss for the Kings and everyone else involved, however, is the disastrous three-team trade that landed Jimmer in Sacramento in 2011. Let's call it The Threeway of Incomparable Regret. Here are the details.

Threeway

The Bobcats conceded an extra mid-first and swapped Stephen Jackson for Corey Maggette to move up three spots and take ... Bismack Biyombo, who has been an incredible disappointment in the NBA to date. The Kings moved back three spots to pick Fredette (waived in his third season) and swap Beno Udrih for ... John Salmons. The Bucks moved back nine spots to get out from under a Salmons contract the team has just inked a year prior, taking the Beno and Jackson deals as penance and picking Tobias Harris.

Once Jimmer is officially waived, Biyombo will be the only player in the deal still with the team that acquired him on June 23, 2011.

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WHERE ARE THEY NOW?

Jackson and Scott Skiles co-existed for a few weeks before Milwaukee included him in the Monta Ellis deal for salary purposes. Golden State then flipped him to the Spurs for Richard Jefferson's awful contract. He had some cool times with the Spurs but got waived before the 2013 playoffs and is now basically unofficially retired.

Livingston got traded again in a big package deal at the end of 2011-12, landing on the Rockets. They waived him before the season began. After bouncing around in the interim, he landed in a solid situation in Brooklyn this season.

Salmons was (surprise!) a disaster. Paul Westphal, then coach of the Kings, had been pushing for a veteran small forward to help bring consistency to the team. (He had brought in Antoine Wright, Ime Udoka and Desmond Mason; for some reason, those options didn't work. Salmons was the logical conclusion of the experiment.) Westphal would coach seven more regular season games after pushing for these trades. Salmons is now in Toronto after being shuffled in the Rudy Gay trade. He'd been demoted in Sacramento about five times before that.

Udrih spent a wasted season and a half in Milwaukee before a wasted half-season in Orlando and a wasted partial season in New York. He was mercifully bought out just before Raymond Felton got arrested this week.

Jimmer has, as mentioned at the top, been stuck to the bench quite a bit. It's weird, because he produces offensively when in the game. But his defense leaves a lot to be desired, and until this season, he struggled to handle the ball when being pressured. He does just enough to convince many fans he should be playing; he does certain things poorly enough to convince his coaches he's not a great option for major minutes. The divide got pretty deep, especially during the Keith Smart years. (There was rampant speculation that Smart was racist against Jimmer based on ... Steve Alford's notoriety, or something. Just bizarre tin foil stuff.) Now, Jimmer is gone and Sacramento has nothing to show for it but a whole lot of unintentionally hilarious No. 7 jerseys floating around.

Biyombo, Biyombo, Biyombo. The Congolese athletic god is averaging a career-low 15 minutes per game in Charlotte. He came into the league as someone with huge defensive potential. He can rebound and block shots, but the Bobcats are worse with him on the floor. Like Jimmer, he'll hang around the NBA for a while. And he's young: just 21 years old, as far as we know. (By comparison, Jimmer's 25.) But as of now, it's looking like that was a wasted lottery pick for Charlotte.

Tobias Harris is probably the best current player in deal; he's certainly the best of the three draft picks that changed hands. Unfortunately, Milwaukee wasted him completely: he was included in the J.J. Redick trade with Orlando a year ago. You know, the deal in which Milwaukee gave up a promising forward (Harris) to rent Redick for two months and a first-round series against the Heat. (The Bucks In 6 series.) In the offseason, Redick signed with the Clippers; the sign-and-trade landed Milwaukee a couple of seconds. For Tobias Harris. Milwaukee actually did something right in this deal — against all odds, given the veterans they pulled in — and they lit that good thing on fire inside of two years.

That's why Charlotte remains the last opportunity for The Threeway of Incomparable Regret to be salvaged. They swapped out Jackson for Maggette. A year later, the Bobcats rented out some cap space to Detroit. The Pistons had Ben Gordon's nasty contract on the books through 2013-14, but wanted to free up space for 2013 free agency. Maggette's deal expired in 2013. So, for the price of a 2014 first-round pick protected in the top eight, the Bobcats swapped the bad contracts. (Charlotte still had cap space in 2013, enough to land Al Jefferson.)

If Charlotte does something wonderful with that Detroit pick (currently slated to be No. 10 overall), they will have won the Threeway of Incomparable Regret. If it's yet another bust, this trade will go down as perhaps the most depressing trade in NBA history. So much failure. So much bad.

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