Well, this trade would’ve definitely changed the course of NBA history if it ever went through.
Back in 2011, All-Star guard and MVP candidate Chris Paul wanted out of New Orleans. Playing for the then-Hornets since he was drafted in 2005, CP3 had experienced very little success with the Hornets his entire career, despite his outstanding numbers.
Everybody knows about then-commissioner David Stern vetoing a Los Angeles Lakers-New Orleans Hornets trade that would’ve seen Paul team up with Kobe Bryant in the purple and gold. CP3 was later traded to the Los Angeles Clippers instead, forming ‘Lob City’ alongside Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, and propelled the Clips to their best years in franchise history, despite not making it to a conference finals serries.
But what if Paul was traded to the Golden State Warriors instead? The NBA would be a totally different beast right now if that was the case.
According to this SB Nation article back in 2011, there were rumors floating about that the Warriors were looking to trade for Paul, sending eventual two-time MVP Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Ekpe Udoh to the Hornets.
The Golden State Warriors are one of three teams now at the center of Chris Paul trade rumors, as multiple reporters led by Yahoo!’s Adrian Wojnarowski listed the W’s, Boston Celtics and L.A. Clippers as the clubs in serious talks with the New Orleans Hornets for the services of the All-Star point guard. SI.com’s Sam Amick reports that for the Warriors’ part, the team’s three most recent lottery picks have been included in the offer for CP3.
Those picks would be stud guard Stephen Curry, defensive big man Ekpe Udoh and 2011 pick Klay Thompson. Udoh showed promise late last season after starting his rookie campaign injured, and Thompson enters a league coveted athletic wing. Curry, of course, is one of the league’s hottest young guards, a killer sharpshooter who has erased questions about his point guard abilities in short order.
Tim Kawakami of The Athletic also commented on these trade rumors during a look back at how the Warriors formed the dynasty they’re currently enjoying.
“Less well known: A few years later, the Warriors held talks with the New Orleans Hornets right after the 2011 lockout, when New Orleans was under pressure to deal Chris Paul, who was due to become a free agent the next July. New Orleans wanted Curry, the new Warriors management of Joe Lacob and Bob Myers (with Riley still as the GM, but without the power) didn’t say no right away, and there was a slight chance this could happen.
But Paul let it be known that he would not talk to the Warriors about an extension, and Lacob and Myers wisely weren’t going to even think about dealing Curry for somebody who could’ve bolted in a matter of months. Really, they decided they weren’t going to deal Curry at all, but Paul’s decision made it even easier to move along.
Instead, the Warriors offered Monta Ellis. The Hornets declined, then traded Paul to the Lakers, only to have the NBA (which was running the Hornets at the time) nix the deal, which led to New Orleans finally trading Paul to the Clippers.”
It was never really going to happen. This is a rumor. But keep thinking that the FO isn’t even good and just lucky tho after constructing a team of 5 all stars…
If this trade went down, we could be looking at a dynasty in New Orleans with Steph Curry and Klay Thompson lighting up teams beside each other, whereas the Warriors would still have one ring in their franchise’s history with Chris Paul leading the show. On top of that, if New Orleans still managed to win the lottery in 2011, the now-Pelicans would have Curry, Thompson and Anthony Davis, which would unquestionably be the best team in the NBA at this point.