When an MVP is traded from his original team, there is a pattern that shows up in many of the cases where that MVP wins a title after the trade. Of the 10 MVP players who were traded from the team they won the MVP with, 7 of those went on to win titles with their new teams. Only 3 didn't win a title with their new teams.
The 3 who didn't win a championship with their new teams were Charles Barkley, Hakeem Olajawan and Allan Iverson. Since Iverson is still playing, it is possible that he may still win a title before he retires. Charles Barkley won the MVP award in his first season with Phoenix in the 1992-93 season. He played 3 more seasons with Phoenix before being traded to Houston. He played 4 years with Houston before retiring. In spite of playing with other All Stars such as Olajawan, Pippen, and Drexler, those Houston teams could never find the chemistry to win a championship. Olajawan won the MVP in the 1993-94 season, his 10th with the Rockets. He was traded to Toronto in 2001 after 17 seasons with the Rockets. He didn't have much left in the tank that season and played in only 61 games, averaging only 7.1 points and 6 rebounds per game.
There were 7 MVP players traded after winning the award. Bob McAdoo won the MVP award in 1975 as a member of the Buffalo Braves. He then bounced around to the Knicks, Celtics, Pistons and Nets before landing with the Lakers in 1981 where he won 2 championships (1982 and 1985) in 4 years with the team.
Kareem Abdul Jabbar won a total of 6 MVP awards, 3 with Milwaukee and 3 with the Lakers. He won the award in 1971, 1972 and 1974 with Milwaukee and won a championship with the Bucks in 1971. He was traded to the Lakers in 1975 and went on to win the MVP with the Lakers in 1976, 1977 and 1980. He also won 5 championships with the Lakers after the trade in 80, 82, 85, 87, and 88.
Wilt Chamberlain won the MVP award 4 times, 1960, 1966, 1967, and 1968, all with the Philadelphia 76ers. He was traded from Philly to the Lakers in 1968 and he went on to win a championship with the Lakers in 1972 after being traded.
The great Oscar Robertson was named the league MVP in 1964 while he was in his 4th season with the Cincinnati Royals. He played 6 more years with the Royals before being traded to the Milwaukee Bucks in 1970. That season, his first with the Bucks, he won his one and only championship.
Moses Malone played for the Buffalo Braves (1 year), Houston Rockets (6 years), Sixers (5years), Washington Bullets (2 years), Atlanta Hawks (3 seasons), Milwaukee Bucks 2 seasons) and finally, the Spurs (1 season). Malone won the MVP award three times in 1979 and 1982 when he was with Houston. He was traded to Philly in 1982 and he won the MVP again that season and also won his only championship that season after the trade. He was traded 5 more times after that but only won the one championship.
Shaquille O'Neal was drafted by the Orlando Magic and spent 3 years there before being traded to the Lakers in 1995. He went on to win 3 titles with the Lakers and won his only MVP award as a Laker in 2000. He was traded to Miami in 2004 and went on to win a 4th title with the Heat in 2006.
Finally, there is Bill Walton who played for Portland from 1974-1978 where he won the MVP award in 1978 and won a championship in 1977. He played 4 years for the Clippers before being traded to Boston in 1985 where he won his second championship with the Celtics in 1986.
And that brings us to Kevin Garnett, who played 12 years in Minnesota and won the MVP award with the Wolves in 2004. As everyone who can read or watch television knows, Garnett was traded to the Celtics this season and if history is any indication, Garnett will win a championship in Boston. Here's hoping that historical precedence holds true one more time and #17 is on its way to Boston.
Well, the only ones that matter are Barkley, Iverson, Malone, Robertson, and McAdoo.
Will Garnett be in the Iverson/Barkley type player who didn't win one before or after being traded? Or will he be in the Malone/Robertson/McAdoo camp who hadn't won a title before being traded, but picked one up afterward?
Even though he wasn't traded, I would throw Karl Malone in there as well.