With players demanding trades in the NBA, there have been seen some major shakeups in the league over the years.
It has become a common trend now, with more top players switching teams. There can be plenty of reasons why players want to be traded. One of the main reasons is to bolster their hopes of winning an NBA championship.
Many believe Damian Lillard could tread this route if the Portland Trail Blazers fail to build a title-contending team around him this season. He has indicated that he wishes to stay with the Trail Blazers for now, but things could change. A lot of superstars who were in the same situation as Lillard have gone on to hand in trade requests.
On that note, let's take a look at the top five superstars in the NBA who requested a trade in the 21st century. The reasons, which range from their desire to chase a ring or personal reasons, have shaken up the league. Without further ado, here's a look at five such players.
#5 James Harden
James Harden is one of the most recent examples of a top player requesting a trade/ That happened when he demanded the Houston Rockets to trade him during the 2020-21 NBA season. After multiple failures to win the championship at H-Town, Harden wanted to go to another team to bolster his chances of winning his first NBA championship.
Harden was a beast for the Rockets and had also formed partnerships with the likes of Dwight Howard, Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook. However, he failed to get past the Conference Finals even once during his stint with the Rockets.
That led to him moving out of Houston and signing with the Brooklyn Nets in a four-team trade that included the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Indiana Pacers. Although Harden did not win the championship last year, the Nets are one of the contenders this season. So there is a decent possibility that he might end up winning his first chip.
#4 Kawhi Leonard
Kawhi Leonard had a successful stint with the San Antonio Spurs, his first-ever team in the NBA. It did not end on a great note, though, as Leonard asked to be traded by the franchise in 2018.
The reason behind that was because of personal reasons, though, as Leonard was unhappy with the way the Spurs handled his quad injury. The LA Clippers forward played only nine games in the 2017-18 NBA season, which turned out to be his last with the franchise.
Leonard was subsequently granted his wish, and was traded to the Toronto Raptors. Reports at the time suggested he wanted a move back home to the LA Lakers, but the Purple and Gold were reluctant to let Kyle Kuzma and Brandon Ingram depart.
So a deal never materialized, and Leonard ended up with Toronto, where he led them to an NBA championship win.