Report: Chris Paul Told Celtics, Warriors He Wouldn't Re-Sign If Traded in 2011

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistSeptember 9, 2017

BOSTON, MA - DECEMBER 31:  Chris Paul #3 of the New Orleans Hornets looks for an opening during a game against the Boston Celtics on December 31, 2010 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2010 NBAE  (Photo by Steve Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)
Steve Babineau/Getty Images

The NBA may be a different place had Chris Paul not essentially ruled two franchises out of contention when the then-New Orleans Hornets were looking to trade the All-Star point guard.     

ESPN.com's Adrian Wojnarowski (via RealGM) reported during the Friday edition of his podcast that Paul informed the Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics he wouldn't re-sign with them when his contract was up if New Orleans traded him to either franchise in 2011.

The NBA famously vetoed a proposed trade sending Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers, and he wound up with the Los Angeles Clippers.

Turner Sports analyst David Aldridge first reported on the Warriors' interest in 2011, shortly after Paul's trade to the Clippers was complete. Aldridge noted Paul's unwillingness to pledge his future to Golden State beyond the 2011-12 season ended the team's interest.

In August, the Athletic's Tim Kawakami (h/t CBSSports.com's Chris Barnewall) also reported the Warriors revisited trade talks with the Clippers in 2012 in an effort to acquire Paul but were unsuccessful.   

The idea of Paul playing in Golden State is certainly far more interesting than him suiting up for the Celtics. Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce would've been in their mid-30s by the time Paul arrived, so it's questionable how much he would've altered the franchise's trajectory.

In 2011, Chris Broussard reported for ESPN.com that the ages of Garnett, Pierce and Ray Allen gave Paul pause about wanting to sign a long-term extension with Boston.

The Warriors, meanwhile, had yet to realize what they had with Stephen Curry. Curry averaged an unspectacular 14.7 points per game and shot 45.5 percent from beyond the arc in 2011-12. There were also doubts about his durability as he battled nagging ankle injuries.

In retrospect, keeping Curry over Paul is a no-brainer. Between the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons, though, Paul would've appeared to be a big upgrade to Golden State's backcourt.

Of course, Curry won the first of two straight MVP Awards and the Warriors captured an NBA title in 2014-15, signaling the beginning of their budding dynasty, so it's safe to say failing to land Paul worked out well for Golden State.         

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