It is pretty rare when an elite superstar, a player at the top of their game, is traded off by a team. Circumstances have to reach a boiling point where the team is not going anywhere or the player sees greener pastures and nothing will stop that fixation. In the NBA today, superstars (and those who think they are superstars) are all built the same. If their team has not won a championship or when they see their friends winning them in a brief amount of time, they see it as a need for a new setting.
This was a pretty rare event during the first 40 years of the NBA. During that time frame only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain and Charles Barkley were in their actual prime before being traded away.
Over the past two years LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Amare Stoudemire, Chris Paul, Deron Williams and Chris Bosh have all been moved on (or left on their own) to new surroundings. That amounts to six out of what most would say are the top 20 players in the league, or 30 percent of the best talent in the world moving around.
More players will be on the move in due time. But here are the biggest deals involving superstars in their prime throughout NBA history: