Chris Paul to the Lakers, the aborted trade that would have turned the NBA upside down

Imagine the best possible backyard area in the early 2010s. copy print In the second post, no doubt. He was then the most dominant basketball player on the planet LeBron James. Champion and Player of the Finals in 2009 and 2010. Aging, yes, but terribly strong.

And in the end, there was also a bit of hesitation. Chris Paul. God Point. The reference is in the command. Well, this duo should have done wonders for the Los Angeles Lakers. Fantasy has come true. And for a few hours, supporters of the Hollywood franchise began to dream.

until David Stern started in. December 2011. The NBA is just emerging from a months-long shutdown, and a new CBA agreement has been drawn up and ratified. comfort. A deal that is supposed to allow smaller markets not to be stifled by tournament giants. Teams are slowly preparing for the scheduled resumption in January. Then the news hit like a bomb: The New Orleans Hornets sent Chris Paul to the Lakers on a three-organizational transfer deal.

Two of the best players on the planet are now united under the same jacket. Miami Heat’s perfect fondness for LeBron JamesAnd Chris Bush And Dwyane Wade. Fans in California rejoice, others grumble. And not just enthusiasts. But also the leaders of other clubs.

Angelenos surrender anyway Paul Gasol – perhaps their most effective player – to the Houston Rockets in the deal. Kevin MartinAnd Luis ScolaAnd Lamar OdomAnd Goran Dragic The 2012 draft pick is shipped to New Orleans. An interesting counterpart to CP3, at any rate at the end of the decade the following year. But there is a catch.

yes Dale DempsGM of the Hornets built the business, and the Louisiana franchise has been temporarily in the hands of the NBA since former owner George Sheen sold the organization to the league for $300 million in 2010. While waiting for a new buyer and therefore a new owner, he is David Stern, the commissioner, who leads with the team leader. delicate or sensitive

Then the president decides to end the transfer. Reassure him that it is only for sporting reasons. But it was rumored behind the scenes that many franchise managers were unhappy to see an indomitable second fleet form in the west of the country. They are afraid of being left behind. Especially after signing for CBA which was to ensure tournament balance.

This trade is a joke ‘, so note Dan GilbertCleveland Cavaliers owner, in an email. ” I know many franchisees think like me. »

David Stern had a double cap. Was he really able to only focus on the Hornets leader back then? Obviously, this seems unlikely. He defended himself by asserting that this trade – which the GM of NO accepted however – didn’t make sense and that Chris Paul was best kept. in spite of him? The guard wanted to leave anyway and had warned his employers that he wouldn’t stay once his contract expired in 2012.

The anonymous trade from Chris Paul to the Lakers: David Stern accuses Mitch Kupchak

The Lakers, the Rockets, and even the Hornets paid for the trade to continue anyway. The evidence is that, mathematically, she really cared about all parties involved. But in vain. Finally a few days later Paul was sent to the Los Angeles… Clippers. And there again, the case almost collapsed. The clips fell significantly because the Hornets were asking for too many assets. Then they finally agreed 48 hours later.

Eric GordonAnd Chris KamanAnd Farouk Aminu And the first round (2012, unprotected) the Timberwolves were bargaining chips. The beginning of a new era, the era of “Loop City”. End of an era for the Lakers, who then bet Dwight Howard And Steve Nash…with the failure that we know.

He could have changed this transition to the Violet and Gold League. CP3 was particularly upset after it was canceled. Because he was already boiling over at the idea of ​​playing with Kobe Bryant. Besides, the two men had called each other and started discussing how they could shine together. With Andrew Bynum Besides them, he had a dominant hub (all-stars at the time!) to form an elite trio.

Next, there is a form of fantasy about the true potential of this hypothetical team. First, Kobe was coming somewhere near the end even though he was still brutal before injuring his Achilles tendon. But the physical glitches were already piling up, and the fatigue was defending to a lesser degree. Bynum was a very promising young man but we later saw that it was his lack of desire that took over. In the end, I’m not sure these “big three” would have sparked in the long run.

The shooting window was very short. Because a possible strain was evolving in the West with Kevin DurantAnd James Harden And Russell Westbrook We are still together in Oklahoma City. Thunder beat Bryant and Gasol Lakers 4-1 in the 2012 conference semi-finals. What was the result of the series with Chris Paul? And even if it overtakes Angelino, the Heat trio, with James, Wade and Bush, still looks stronger. On the other hand, one can wonder if the union of Cuban and Paul could not help the leaders bring a third star at that time.

Aborted Chris Paul transferred to the Lakers at the start of Lamar Odom’s downfall?

What is certain is that the aborted transport plunged Lamar Odom into the abyss. The luxurious sixth man felt good at the Lakers. He found himself confused and unwanted…” They don’t want me anymore He said immediately after the end of the league of the deal. He was eventually sent to the Dallas Mavericks and exposed to drugs. Before you came close to dying of an overdose a few years later.

Title or not, Chris Paul’s arrival at the Lakers would have turned the NBA landscape upside down at the time. And maybe today as well. A trade that could have upset the entire decade.

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