What are the most lopsided trades in Boston sports history?

The Parish-McHale trade was one of the best in Boston history. But what about others? We look at the good — and the bad — over the years.

The Bruins landed Phil Esposito and Ray Bourque in two of the most favorable trades in the history of Boston sports. RICHMAN, EVAN GLOBE STAFF

June 9 marked the 40th anniversary of the Celtics trading the first pick of the NBA draft to the Golden State Warriors for center Robert Parish and the third pick. After the Warriors grabbed center Joe Barry Carroll, the Celtics took forward Kevin McHale.

Parish and McHale would go on to Hall of Fame careers, teaming up with Larry Bird for one of the best frontcourts in NBA history.

Carroll played for five teams over 10 seasons, making one All-Star appearance before retiring in 1991.

It ranks as one of the most lopsided deals in the history of Boston sports. Here’s a look at a few others, both good and bad, for each organization.


Jan. 27, 2000

The Patriots wanted desperately to hire Bill Belichick to replace Pete Carroll as coach, but Belichick was under contract to the New York Jets.

Eventually, they pried him away when they sent the 16th overall pick in the 2000 draft plus fourth- and seventh-rounders in 2001 in exchange for Belichick, a 2001 fifth-round pick, and a 2002 seventh-round selection.

Both teams shuffled those picks around, and the Jets ended up with Shaun Ellis, defensive back Jamie Henderson, and defensive lineman James Reed.

Ellis had a nice career, playing 11 seasons with the Jets before joining the Patriots for his final season in 2011. Henderson made one start in three seasons with the Jets, while Reed had 32 starts in seven seasons in the league, the final two with the Chiefs.

In addition to Belichick, the Patriots landed tight end Arther Love and kicker Owen Pochman, neither of whom ever played a game for them. But for the last 20 years with Belichick running the show, the Patriots have been the model franchise, winning six Super Bowls and going to three others.

April 30, 1985

Ahead of the 1985 draft, the Patriots traded their first-round pick, No. 16, and their third-round pick, No. 75, to the 49ers for the 28th pick in the first round, the 56th overall pick in the second round, and the 84th pick in the third round.

The 49ers selected Jerry Rice and Rickey Moore, while the Patriots took Trevor Matich, Ben Thomas, and Audray McMillan.

Rice would become the greatest wide receiver to play the game, finishing his 20-season career with 1,549 receptions for 22,895 yards. He also had 208 touchdowns (197 receiving, 10 rushing, and one fumble recovery).

Moore, a running back out of Alabama, never played for the 49ers. He played 22 games over the course of three seasons for the Bills, Oilers, and Cardinals.

Matich injured his ankle in the first game of his rookie season with the Patriots and missed the rest of the year. He appeared in 25 games over the next three seasons, then went on to play another eight seasons with the Lions, Jets, Colts, and Redskins.

Thomas appeared in 19 games over two seasons with the Patriots, including one start. He played in 54 games in five seasons for five teams before retiring in 1991.

McMillan played eight seasons in the NFL, tallying 19 interceptions and reaching the Pro Bowl in 1992. Unfortunately, none of it happened with the Patriots, who cut him at the end of training camp his rookie season. After three seasons with the Oilers, he found his greatest success with the Vikings.

Red Sox

July 31, 1997

With the Mariners in search of relievers at the trade deadline, they shipped minor league catcher Jason Varitek and pitcher Derek Lowe to the Red Sox to land Heathcliff Slocumb.

In 84 games in two seasons with the Mariners, Slocumb posted a 4.97 ERA, recording just 13 saves.

Lowe played eight seasons with the Red Sox, recording 42 saves in 2000, when he was named to the All-Star team. In 2002, he joined the rotation, starting 32 games and going 21-8 with a 2.58 ERA to again make the All-Star team. In 2004, he was the winning pitcher in the series-clinching games of the ALDS, the ALCS, and the World Series.

Varitek played the next 15 seasons with the Red Sox, winning World Series in 2004 and 2007. He appeared in 1,546 games and caught an MLB-record four no-hitters by four different pitchers.

Aug. 31, 1990

Yes, selling Babe Ruth to the Yankees is perhaps the most lopsided deal in the history of sports, but there have been other blunders by the Red Sox.

In 1990, the Red Sox were in contention to clinch their third AL East title in five seasons when general manager Lou Gorman wanted to bolster the bullpen. He sent infielder Jeff Bagwell to the Astros for reliever Larry Andersen.

The 37-year-old Andersen did his job, appearing in 15 games that September as the Red Sox reached the postseason. He had a 1.23 ERA and struck out 25 batters while walking just three. But he was a free agent at the end of the season, and returned to the National League to sign with the Padres.

Bagwell went on to become a Hall of Famer — a career .297/.408/.540 hitter with 449 homers, 202 steals, and a 149 OPS+ in 15 seasons with the Astros.


May 15, 1967

The Bruins acquired Phil Esposito, Ken Hodge, and Fred Stanfield from the Chicago Blackhawks for Pit Martin, Jack Norris, and Gilles Marotte.

Esposito scored 459 goals in 625 games with the Bruins, averaging 65 per season in a six-season stretch between 1969-75, when he led the league in goals. The Bruins won the Stanley Cup twice in that stretch.

Stanfield scored at least 20 goals six times, while Hodge scored 289 goals over nine seasons in Boston.

Martin scored 243 goals in 11 seasons in Chicago, but Marotte and Norris played only 202 combined games with the Blackhawks.

June 28, 1964

Shortly after drafting Ken Dryden, the Bruins shipped the goalie to the Montreal Canadiens along with Alex Campbell for Paul Reid and Guy Allen.

Dryden was the only player in this exchange to actually go on to play in the NHL, winning six Stanley Cups in eight seasons with the Canadiens, with two of the Cup victories coming against the Bruins in 1977 and 1978. He posted 46 shutouts in 397 games and won five Vezina Trophies.


In addition to the McHale/Parish trade, there’s no shortage of great heists to choose from when discussing Red Auerbach’s career with the Celtics. On April 30, 1956, he traded future Hall of Fame center Ed Macauley and Cliff Hagan to the St. Louis Hawks for the No. 2 pick, with which the Celtics selected Bill Russell.

On June 27, 1983, he sent backup center Rick Robey to Phoenix for guard Dennis Johnson. The Celtics made the NBA Finals the next four seasons, winning the title twice, with DJ as point guard.

But to find one of the worst moves, you have to go to Rick Pitino’s reign of terror.

After selecting Chauncey Billups with the third pick in the 1997 draft, Pitino shipped him away after just 51 games along with Dee Brown to the Toronto Raptors on Feb. 18, 1998, in exchange for Kenny Anderson, Popeye Jones, and Zan Tabak.

Anderson had a decent run with the Celtics, starting at point guard as the team advanced to the 2002 conference finals. But he was traded to Seattle the following offseason.

Billups went on to play 17 years in the league and was named to five All-Star teams. He was named MVP of the 2004 NBA Finals after leading the Detroit Pistons to the championship.

Other notable Boston trades

April 29, 2007: Randy Moss to the Patriots for a fourth-round pick to the Raiders.

Nov. 28, 2003: Curt Schilling to the Red Sox for Casey Fossum, Brandon Lyon, Jorge de la Rosa, and Michael Goss.

Nov. 18, 1997: Pedro Martinez to the Red Sox for prospects Carl Pavano and Tony Armas Jr.

June 6, 1986: Cam Neely and a first-round pick (Glen Wesley) to the Bruins from Vancouver for Barry Pederson.

Oct. 9, 1978: Bruins trade goalie Ron Grahame to the Los Angeles Kings for a first round pick, which turned out to be the eighth overall in 1979. The Bruins used the pick to take Ray Bourque.

April 5, 1976: Patriots trade Jim Plunkett to the 49ers for two 1976 first-round picks and a first- and second-rounder in 1977. The Patriots chose Pete Brock, Tim Fox, Raymond Clayborn, and Horace Ivory with those picks.

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