We trade all kinds here in Philly. Future Hall of Famers, busted draft picks, franchise icons. So while the Carson Wentz deal is notable, it’s gonna have to work hard to crack these august (or pathetic) top fives.
Best trades in Philly history
1972: Phillies acquired Steve Carlton from St. Louis for Rick Wise.
Why it worked: Carlton won four Cy Young Awards and was the staff ace when the Phillies won the first World Series in team history in 1980.
» FROM THE ARCHIVES: The late Stan Hochman’s sweeping conversation with Steve Carlton
1965: Sixers acquired Wilt Chamberlain from San Francisco for three players and cash, Jan. 15, 1965.
Why it worked: First of all, they brought Wilt back home. Secondly, there are people who will die on the hill arguing the ‘66-67 title team was the greatest in NBA history.
1973: Flyers re-acquired from Toronto Bernie Parent for Doug Favell.
Why it worked: Immediately led the Flyers to two Stanley Cups and is arguably the most beloved player in franchise history. Do yourself a favor. Don’t ever bring this deal up to a Maple Leafs fan.
1982: Sixers acquired Moses Malone from Houston for Caldwell Jones and a first-round pick.
Why it worked: From 1977 to the spring of 1982, the Sixers had been to the conference finals five times, and the NBA Finals three times and had zero championships to show for it. Getting Moses, the reigning MVP, just prior to the 1982-83 season was the lift Julius Erving needed to deliver a title to Philadelphia.
FROM THE ARCHIVES: RIP Moses Malone, 1955-2015
2004: Eagles acquired Terrell Owens from San Francisco in a three-team deal.
Why it worked: The honeymoon between Owens, quarterback Donovan McNabb, and the Eagles franchise disintegrated after one season, but what a magical year 2004 was. Owens, coming back early from an injured leg, was the Birds’ best player in the Super Bowl 39 loss to the Patriots.
Other notable trade acquisitions: Jim Bunning, Roy Halladay, Ron Jaworski, John LeClair, Cliff Lee, Eric Lindros, Curt Schilling, Norm Van Brocklin.
Worst trades in Philly history
1982: Phillies traded Larry Bowa and — at the insistence of Cubs’ general manager Dallas Green — minor-league infielder Ryne Sandberg for Ivan DeJesus.
OMG: Sandberg, drafted by the Phillies when Green was director of player development, became a 10-time All-Star for the Cubs and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2005.
1986: In two separate deals on June 16, the Sixers traded the No. 1 overall pick, Moses Malone, plus two other first-round picks to Washington and Cleveland basically for a bag of rocks.
OMG: The No. 1 overall pick was Brad Daugherty, a five-time All-Star, who they could have just kept and built the team around him and Charles Barkley.
FROM THE ARCHIVES: Did the Sixers really just do this to themselves?
1966: Phillies traded Ferguson Jenkins to the Cubs in a five-player deal.
OMG: Jenkins, in 1967, started a run of six consecutive 20-win seasons, where he led the majors in complete games three times and won the Cy Young Award in 1971. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1991.
1968: Sixers traded Wilt Chamberlain to the Lakers for three players.
OMG: Wilt was about to turn 32, so he was in the twilight of his career. Still went to four All-Star Games, led the league in rebounding four times and helped L.A. roll to the 1971-72 Finals.
1964: Eagles dealt Sonny Jurgensen to Washington for Norm Snead in a swap of quarterbacks.
OMG: Snead was the unfortunate quarterback on some of the worst Eagles teams in history (going 28-50-3 in 7 seasons). To be fair, Jurgensen, who went on to a Hall of Fame career for Washington, probably wouldn’t have fared much better if he had stayed.
Other forgettable trades: Dick Allen, Charles Barkley, Scott Rolen.
Hey, where’d you go?
The Eagles have drafted six players in the top 5 since 1970. Only one had a shorter career in Philadelphia than Carson Wentz. Here’s a look:
Carson Wentz, QB, 2nd pick, 2016, North Dakota State
Eagles career: 2016-20; 68 games, 68 starts.
Coulda picked: Jalen Ramsey, CB, but selecting Wentz was fine. They needed a franchise quarterback, and who could have foreseen this mess?
Lane Johnson, T, 4th pick, 2013, Oklahoma
Eagles career: 2013-current; 99 games, 99 starts.
Coulda picked: Johnson’s been terrific, but Travis Kelce, DeAndre Hopkins, and David Bakhtiari went after him. The real gaffe was made by Jacksonville, who took Luke Joeckel, another offensive tackle, two picks ahead of Johnson.
Donovan McNabb, QB, 2nd pick, 1999, Syracuse
Eagles career: 1999-2009; 148 games, 142 starts.
Coulda picked: Cade McNown. Just kidding. McNabb was the best of the five QBs taken in the first round. Two Hall of Famers went shortly after McNabb (Edgerrin James, fourth; Champ Bailey, seventh), but the Eagles needed a QB with that pick.
Kenny Jackson, WR, 4th pick, 1984, Penn State
Eagles career: 1984-88; 1990-91; 92 games, 53 starts.
Coulda picked: Wilber Marshall, a linebacker who had some decent years with the Bears and Washington.
Jerry Sisemore, T, 3rd pick, 1973, Texas
Eagles career: 1973-84; 156 games, 155 starts.
Coulda picked: John Hannah. Sisemore, a tackle, is in the top 5 in franchise history in games played among offensive linemen and is in the club’s Hall of Fame. Hannah, a guard, is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Richard Harris, DE, 5th pick, 1971, Grambling State
Eagles career: 1971-73; 39 games, 33 starts.
Coulda picked: Jack Youngblood, a defensive end who the Rams took with the 20th overall pick. Linebacker Jack Ham went 34th and offensive tackle Dan Dierdorf went 43rd. All are Hall of Famers. The draft class was salvaged when the Eagles took Harold Carmichael in the seventh round with the 161st pick. Carmichael was invited to Canton in 2020.