7. SCOTTIE PIPPEN to Houston
After a stalwart career in Chicago no one needs reminding of, Pippen shot a career-worst 43 percent (up to that point) and averaged 14.5 points in 50 games. Pippen’s defense carried over to the Rockets but his luck in the playoffs didn’t: The Rockets went on to lose 3-1 in the first round to the Lakers.
Pippen was more known in his post-Bulls era for spending four seasons in Portland. His lasting play there was a game-winning jumper with seven seconds left to help beat the Jazz in the second round of the playoffs in 2000. He had 23 points, nine rebounds and eight assists in that game, but Portland went on to lose to the Lakers in the Western Finals. That was the upshot, however: He never avereaged more than 13 points per game in his final six seasons after averaging no less than 13.6 in his first 11.
6. GARY PAYTON to Milwaukee
While he got close to an NBA title in 2003-04 with the Lakers, he’s slotted here because of his move to Milwaukee. As arguably the most traveled former one-team superstar, Payton played for four clubs after departing Seattle in 2001-02. His best year after leaving the Emerald City was an 18.2-point, 6.8-assist year the next season.
Of course, the unquantifiable stat that needs mentioning is that he arguably led the league in talking smack every year, even when he got out of Seattle. Actually, he wouldn’t argue with you over that. He’d just tell you.
Things got more strange when he headed to L.A. for one last go-round with the Lakers along with Malone (see below). Incredibly, he had two stops to go, in Boston and Miami.