Worst Trade No. 4: Geoff Huston is not worth Detlef Schrempf
We now come to the top tier of our trade rankings, those deals that are truly inexplicable. They all hold something in common, and his name is Ted Stepien. The Cavaliers’ owner from 1980 to 1983 is infamous for his irrational and emotional decions, his racist words and practices, and perhaps most of all for how he completely destroyed the Cavaliers’ future via trades.
Five of the top six trades on this list were made during Stepien’s three seasons owning the team. He believed in mortgaging the future to add talent in the present, and in four different trades the Cavs moved a future first-round pick in order to bring back a veteran player, and never a particularly good one.
At the end of it, the Cavs had traded away every first-round pick from 1982 to 1987, leading to the NBA instituting a new rule: The “Stepien Rule” which is in place to this day, preventing an NBA team from being without a first-round pick in consecutive years.
The Cavaliers completed their draft giveaway in February of 1981, when they traded their 1985 first-round pick to the Dallas Mavericks for Geogg Hutson. The point guard would go on to averaged 10.4 points for the Cavaliers over the next four-plus seasons, a defensive sieve who did little to help the team win.
That first-round pick, on the other hand, went on to become the eighth pick in the 1985 Draft, which the Mavericks used on forward Detlef Schrempf. The 6’10” Schrempf went on to be a three-time All-Star and two-time Sixth Man of the Year. Not exactly a fair trade.