|Chairman of The Boards|
The worst move that Harald Katz ever made running the Philadelphia 76ers and there might be a list of bad moves that he made running the 76ers, was trading Moses Malone to the Wizards. They were called the Washington Bullets back then. But trading Moses and not getting anything in return with Jeff Ruland who had a bad leg before that trade told 76ers fans and perhaps the rest of the NBA that the 76ers were not only no longer NBA Finals contenders, but they weren’t interested in being contenders. Especially with 1987 being Julius Erving’s last season.
A healthy Moses Malone with the 76ers in 87 and finishing his career there with Charles Barkley and you add a small forward to come after Dr. J and the 76ers would have remained not just a playoff team in the late 1980s and 1990s, but they would have remained a contender for the NBA Finals. The 76ers after trading Moses have never been the same since. They were a solid playoff team in 1989, 1990 and 1991, but the fell back and missed the playoffs in 92 and then make another trade with Charles Barkley. And were essentially a last place team for the rest of the 1990s.
And after two great seasons personally that Moses had for the Wizards in 87 and 88, the Wizards make a bad move themselves by not resigning Moses who was 33 at that point and probably had another 3-5 good years left in him. But that’s on Abe Pollin who at least in the 1980s was only interested in making the NBA Playoffs and putting enough people in the seats at the Capital Centre to make a profit for his team. The Wizards keep Moses to go along with Jeff Malone and a young and very talented, but undisciplined player in John Williams, Bernard King would have still been there and Wizards would have at least remained a consistent playoff team in the 1990s.
I’ve never figured out how come Moses played for six NBA teams. I mean he is one of the top 4-5 NBA centers of all-time. Maybe only Wilt Chamberlain was a better rebounding center than Moses. Arguably the best center of the 1980s. Certainly in the Eastern Conference and you could argue about Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, or Moses for the NBA as a whole. And yet the team he played the most games with was the Houston Rockets which was for six seasons. Even though he’s known as the great low-post player both offensively and defensively and the great rebounder and for bringing another NBA championship to the 76ers.