5 Big NBA Trades That Never Happened

Andre Khatchaturian@AndreKhatchCorrespondent IIIDecember 24, 2011

5 Big NBA Trades That Never Happened

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    Fans love NBA trade rumors. They make them think about the prospects of their team with a certain new player in the starting lineup. 

    They start painting different scenarios on how much better or worse their team will be if the trade happens.

    As fans, we are not aware what happens in conversations between NBA general managers. So we have no idea of what type of trades have been offered. 

    That being said, there have been many trades in NBA history that would have shocked the basketball world if they went through. However, for one reason or another, they didn't happen.

    Here are a few of them. 

Chris Paul to Lakers

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    This is the most obvious disallowed trade and the inspiration for this article. 

    As most people are aware, Chris Paul was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers in a three-team deal where Pau Gasol went to Houston and a collection of draft picks and Houston players like Kevin Martin and Luis Scola went to New Orleans. 

    It seemed like the Lakers were finally going to solve their point guard problems long term when David Stern, acting as owner of the New Orleans Hornets, vetoed the trade for the best interest of the Hornets and the league's competitive balance.

    Paul was later traded to the Los Angeles Clippers, turning the cellar dwellers into title contenders.

O.J. Mayo to the Pacers

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    O.J. Mayo almost got traded to the Indiana Pacers not once, but twice. 

    The first time came during last year's trade deadline. Mayo was going to the Pacers for Josh McRoberts and a draft pick, but the deal fell through because the Grizzlies were hesitant and the trade deadline passed. 

    Mayo finished the rest of the season with the Grizzlies. However, a few weeks ago it seemed like he was headed to Indiana again, but for the second time in the same year, the Grizzlies backed away and kept Mayo.

Shawn Kemp to the Bulls for Scottie Pippen

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    When Michael Jordan announced his retirement after his third championship, the Bulls started shopping around Scottie Pippen so they could rebuild. 

    They found the Seattle SuperSonics as a trading partner and were about to send Pippen, Will Perdue and their 21st overall pick to Seattle for Shawn Kemp, Ricky Pierce and their 11th overall pick.

    Kemp was four years younger than Pippen at the time, and George Karl decided to keep his All-Star instead.

    In hindsight, Kemp probably wishes the trade went through. He would've teamed up with Jordan when he came back and perhaps could have been on the winning side of the 1996 NBA Finals. 

Hakeem Olajuwon Trade Request

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    After Hakeem Olajuwon refused to play after an injury despite being healthy enough to dress, the Rockets suspended their legendary star. 

    The feud escalated as Olajuwon asked for a trade. 

    Nothing happened though. Olajuwon stayed on the Rockets and they eventually won two titles in the middle of the decade. 

    Just imagine how depressing it would be for Rockets fans all around if the Rockets had traded their star over such a small dispute. This once again reminds us to have perspective in life and not to cry over spilled milk. 

Kobe Bryant to the Bulls

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    It was a tough time to be a Laker fan.

    After winning three consecutive titles, the Lakers lost Shaquille O'Neal and fell into the middle of the pack. 

    Kobe Bryant, who was in his prime, felt like he was wasting his greatest years and wanted more help on his team. If he wasn't going to get any, he wanted out.

    Unable to find help for Kobe, the Lakers started shopping Kobe around and almost dealt him to Chicago for pretty much their whole team.

    The Lakers were to receive Luol Deng, Ben Gordon, Tyrus Thomas and Joaquim Noah in the deal. 

    However, Kobe didn't want Deng to be a part of the deal and wanted to play with him in Chicago so he'd have a legitimate teammate. 

    The no-trade clause killed the deal and Kobe stayed with the Lakers.

    The rest was history, as Pau Gasol came to Los Angeles in 2008 and the Lakers won two straight titles.