This has been a rough season for Alonzo Gee, reduced to a small role on the bench, and setting an example for an unknown side of the NBA, in which players and their contracts are nothing more than bargaining chips for teams to move around, sending him through six different teams in the span of eight months, beginning with the Cleveland Cavaliers, going through the Houston Rockets, New Orleans Pelicans, Sacramento Kings, Denver Nuggets and now, part of the Portland Trail Blazers.
Where does this begin? In Cleveland, going through a tumultuous offseason that began with a new head coach (David Blatt), a number one draft pick (Andrew Wiggins) and eventually LeBron James and Kevin Love, which caused the team to reshuffle the deck. Part of that shuffling was moving Gee, a small forward who has been on board since signing as a free agent in 2010.
In June he was traded to the Charlotte Hornets, which isn’t something he was happy about, but the Hornets seemed happy to have him. After James arrived, the Cavaliers modified the deal and sent him to the New Orleans Pelicans instead. He never gets to play there, and four days later is traded to the Houston Rockets.
September 17, and the Rockets trade Gee to the Sacramento Kings. The Kings wait a week and then waive Gee, who signs a contract with the Denver Nuggets five days later.
He plays for Denver a whopping four months, averaging 4.9 points in 13.1 minutes a night. He had gotten used to more playing time in Cleveland, but those were their post-LeBron bad days. Gee is fighting for minutes in today’s league.
February and the trade deadline comes along. Gee, surprisingly, gets called up by the Blazers along with Arron Afflalo. The Blazers don’t just want his expiring deal. They want him, according to Gee, who feels happy about being on a team that’s going to make the playoffs. He’s barely playing (4.8 minutes a night in six games) but he’s going to be in the postseason for the first time in his career. What comes next? Gee knows never to expect or plan too far ahead. Players of his caliber might get shipped around at any moment.