8 Years Ago Today The Chris Paul To Lakers Trade Was Vetoed By The NBA

8 Years Ago Today The Chris Paul To Lakers Trade Was Vetoed By The NBA


8 years ago today, a trade that would have made Chris Paul and Kobe Bryant teammates, was vetoed by then NBA Commissioner David Stern. The Lakers had agreed to a three-team trade with the New Orleans Hornets and Houston Rockets that would have resulted in Chris Paul being a Laker.

But 45 minutes after the teams reached an agreement, Stern vetoed the trade for, and I quote, basketball reasons. Stern had the authority to veto the deal because back then, the Hornets were without a team owner and were owned by the league. Simply explained; the league owned the majority of the Hornets, and felt like it wasn’t a good deal for the Hornets. They also were about to sell the team, and a terrible team without a star, would have resulted in losing money.

Years later, David Stern made an appearance on the Nunyo and Company podcast, and revealed that the Lakers still could have completed a deal for Chris Paul, if Mitch Kupchak, the Lakers’ General Manager at that time, hadn’t panicked.

“In fact, in the course of the weekend, we thought we could re-do the deal. We really thought that Houston would be ready to part with Kevin Lowry, and we had a trade lined up for Odom that would have gotten us a good first-round draft pick – not we, but my basketball folks. But Mitch Kupchak at the time panicked and moved Odom to Dallas. So the piece wasn’t even there for us to play with at the time. So that was it — just about what was good for the then-New Orleans Hornets.”

It is too easy to blame Kupchak. Trading Lamar Odom to the Dallas Mavericks also was more reasonable for the Lakers, than to wait for Stern (New Orleans), and Houston to maybe make another deal possible. But one thing is for certain, it was the NBA’s biggest trade that never was.

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