Kevin Durant and Dwyane Wade made a ton of buzz this offseason by leaving the teams that drafted them -- Oklahoma City and Miami, respectively -- for new opportunities. Both Durant and Wade were so synonymous with their teams that seeing them in any other uniform will be weird. While time will tell, they could be following in a long list of guys who kinda, probably should have retired with the teams that originally drafted them.
Karl Malone (retired with Los Angeles Lakers)
While part of Malone's legacy was that he never could get past Michael Jordan and the Bulls while he was in Utah, we shouldn't forget how phenomenal he was in his 18 years with the Jazz. Malone made 14 All-Star Games, won two MVP Awards and remains the second-leading scorer in NBA history behind only Kareem Abdul-Jabaar. However, with John Stockton retiring following the 2003 season, Malone decided it was time move on and make one final chase for a ring. He joined a "super team" with the Lakers that included Gary Payton, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal. Unfortunately, Malone never did get that ring in Los Angeles, as the Lakers lost to the Pistons in the NBA Finals. He contemplated coming back for the 2004-05 season, before ultimately retiring that February at the Delta Center ... home of the Utah Jazz.
NBAE/Getty ImagesAndrew D. Bernstein
Patrick Ewing (retired with Orlando Magic)
Like Malone, poor Ewing had the misfortune of coming into the NBA right around the same time as Michael Jordan, and he never could get past the Bulls. However, during his career in New York no one represented the spirit of the franchise quite like Ewing did, making 11 All-Star teams with the club, while scoring 23,665 points, which remains the most in franchise history. He also -- despite the common narrative -- did have playoff success in New York, getting the Knicks to the Finals in 1994 and 1999, and to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2000, his final season with the club. But once Ewing decided to move on, he was never the same. He spent a year in Seattle, before an injury-plagued final season in Orlando, in which he played in just four games, averaging six points and four rebounds.
AFP/Getty ImagesTONY RANZE
Hakeem Olajuwon (retired with Toronto Raptors)
Oh, you forgot about this one, didn't you? That's right, after 17 glorious seasons in Houston that included two NBA titles, a league MVP in 1994 and 12 All-Star Games, Hakeem the Dream played one final dreadful season north of the border in Toronto. It ended up being by far the worst of Hakeem's career, as he averaged just 7.1 points and six rebounds in just 61 games (including only 37 starts). He retired following that season.
Walt Frazier (retired with Cleveland Cavaliers)
We're going way back to the old days for one of the most iconic players to ever wear the blue and orange at Madison Square Garden. That would be Frazier, who played 10 seasons in New York, made seven All-Star teams and was a key cog on the last two Knicks championship teams, which was sadly back in 1970 and 1973. Unfortunately, Frazier spent the final three years of his career playing three in Cleveland. During that stretch, he never played more than 51 games. That includes a miserable final season in which he suited up just three times for Cleveland in 1980. The good news is that Frazier has since returned to the Knicks, as one of the most colorful and recognizable broadcasters in the game today.
Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images
Michael Jordan (retired with Washington Wizards)
No list of "what the heck was that player thinking" late career moves would be complete without seeing Jordan in the hideous dark blueish, light greyish dulcet Wizards uniform from 2001 to 2003. The funny thing is, as miserable as we remember those two years being, they weren't nearly as bad in hindsight. Jordan averaged 22 points as a 39-year-old in 2002 and another 20 in his final season, the year he turned 40. Of course, it paled in comparison to what he did in Chicago where he won six NBA titles, five MVP Awards and made 12 All-Star game appearances.