I can’t recall a player ever looking so upset for being drafted so high in the draft. We all knew Elton Brand was going #1 and although Steve Francis made it clear that he didn’t want to play for the Vancouver Grizzlies, the Grizz made it clear they wanted him more than Baron Davis and were willing to roll the dice on the Maryland (freak) guard.
After publicly crying about taxes, endorsements, “God’s will,” and an incident at the Vancouver airport – he and his entourage were reportedly asked if they were rappers – Francis was traded to the Rockets in a 11-player deal which included Othello Harrington and the underrated and late Michael Dickerson.
Francis would go on to win rookie of the year and make three All-Star teams as a member of the Rockets but was not happy about the slowed down offense that came with coach Van Gundy in 2003. A year later he was traded to the Orlando Magic for Tracy McGrady.
After stints in Orlando and New York, Francis returned to the Rockets in 2007, struggled with injuries and then, ironically, was traded to the team that drafted him in the beginning for a 2011 conditional draft pick. The Grizzlies waived him without ever playing him. Francis will probably be the only player in NBA history to be drafted by a team and traded for by the same team without ever having to play one minute for them.
(BTW, Don’t say I’m hating on Steve, the Franchise is one of my all-time favorite players but facts are facts)