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Gilbert Arenas says Chris Paul to Lakers would have destroyed the league

Gilbert Arenas says Chris Paul to Lakers would have destroyed the league

In 2011, NBA commissioner David Stern vetoed a three-team trade that would have sent Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers to join forces with the late Kobe Bryant. Instead, Paul joined the Clippers a week later. Changing the future of the three involved teams and leaving the question of ‘what could have been’ to all NBA fans. Many reports throughout the years have said that several team owners pressured Stern to deny the trade. Therefore, angering many fans, Laker fans in particular.

However, in his recent podcast, three-time All-Star Gilbert Arenas spoke about the negative effect that this trade would have had on the NBA.

“Y’all had too much money left, that’s the reason. It would have destroyed the league for at least ten years. So if you went, Dwight went, you guys had about $24-$30 million left in cap space…you got three max players right there with [space] to get three more max players.”Gilbert Arenas to Chris Paul on his podcast

Trade insight

NBA team owners believed that Chris Paul joining the Lakers was unfair, and rightfully so. The trade would have allowed the Lakers not to give up any draft picks. Not to mention space for three more max players. This would have positioned the Lakers as contenders for years to come. Resulting in a potential sixth ring for Kobe Bryant.

David Stern said that the deal was never made or authorized when asked why he denied the trade.

“The GM [Dell Demps] was not authorized to make that trade. And acting on behalf of owners, we decided not to make it. I was an owner rep. There was nothing to ‘void.’ It just never got made.”David Stern on the Chris Paul trade

A week later, Chris Paul was traded to the Clippers. Thus, giving birth to the ‘Lob City’ era with Blake Griffin and Deandre Jordan. Even today, fans continue to discuss how Chris Paul to the Lakers would have impacted Kobe Bryant and the franchise’s story. Sadly, we will never know the answer to that.