For every blockbuster trade that we hear about, there are a lot of them that do not end up happening. There are crazy trade rumors surrounding NBA stars all of the time, but not all of those rumors end up becoming trades for a variety of reasons.
One of those moves would be the Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers trade, one that would pair Paul with Kobe Bryant. The trade was notably vetoed by commissioner David Stern at the time. Jeannie Buss has previously stated that the Lakers trade was vetoed due to the fact that other teams didn't feel as though they got a chance to trade for Chris Paul.
However, it seems as though there's more to the story. On an episode of his No Chill podcast featuring Chris Paul, Gilbert Arenas has recently stated that the league vetoed Paul going to the Lakers because that would give them an insane Big 3 featuring Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant as well, on top of having more money to build their team.
Dan Fagan. So when it got nixed, I'm like "Damn what happened?". He said it was unfair. He said "What was in the background of all that was Dwight Howard being traded for Bynum."
Remember, I'm in Orlando. I'm already talking to Otis and it was like "Dwight don't want to stay". This was when the amnesty was coming. So Orlando, they're trying to figure out if they were going to throw me in the deal and force Lakers: if you want Dwight you're gonna have to take Gilbert's contract too.
I was probably gonna get amnesty... basically, after all y'all superteam got together, y'all had too much money left. That was the reason it got nixed. So Dan Fagan hit Mark Cuban and did the numbers. It would have destroyed the league for at least 10 years.
So if you went, Dwight went, you guys had 24-30 million dollars left in cap space. So at that time you're talking about starting price about 12-13 million on a max contract. So you got 3 max players, and you can get 2 more max players.
Dan Fagan is Gilbert Arenas' former agent, and Fagan was likely involved in the negotiations if Arenas were to be included in the deal. The "amnesty" provision referred to by Arenas was a provision that allowed teams to buy out a player's contract without it affecting the salary cap. If the Lakers cleared Arenas' salary off the books, it would have given the Lakers the cap space Arenas, alongside their big newly-formed three.
It's definitely crazy to hear about Gilbert Arenas' perspective on the deal from his time in Orlando, and a big three featuring Dwight Howard and Chris Paul next to Kobe Bryant could have seriously dominated the league for years.