Chris Paul’s tweet said it all.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past three years, you will remember that the Los Angeles Lakers and New Orleans Hornets agreed on a trade that would place CP3 in forum blue and gold. News of the trade was initially broken by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.

[tweet https://twitter.com/WojYahooNBA/status/144934511812165633]

But yet with the league owning the Hornets at the time, owners (notably Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert) felt the need to pressure former commissioner David Stern to veto the trade. Their requests were ultimately honored as Stern blocked the trade.
[tweet https://twitter.com/WojYahooNBA/status/144965447220080640]

Here are some specifics of the nixed trade:

  • To Los Angeles: Chris Paul
  • To New Orleans: Lamar Odom, Kevin Martin, Goran Dragic, Luis Scola, 2012 1st round draft pick (from Houston)
  • To Houston: Pau Gasol

Instead, Chris Paul ended up being shipped to the Clippers, Lamar Odom was traded to Dallas and Pau Gasol’s name was brought up in trade rumors throughout the rest of his Lakers tenure. The Lakers haven’t been the same since.

The trade would have saved Los Angeles potentially $20 million in salary and $21 million in luxury tax dollars, something that didn’t sit well with small-market owners such as Gilbert, who wrote a letter to the commissioner requesting a veto. The thing about that is, the Lakers would still need to round out their roster. The team wasn’t just going to stop spending money right then and there, and the taxes still would have been paid.

It’s hard to imagine what the Lakers would have looked like lining up a Chris Paul and Kobe Bryant backcourt. And we’ll unfortunately never know. Life has come at the Lakers fast, as they’ve seemingly switched roles with their down-the-hall neighbors in the Clippers. It’s going to take a lot to get them back to the top, but an All-Star caliber player like Chris Paul would have accelerated that process much faster.

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