Are you aware of the butterfly effect? It pretty much states that the tiniest action somewhere could have large effects somewhere else, and the NBA is constantly going through that. There's always a star that could be on the move, as we've witnessed in some of the craziest trades in league history.
There were multiple times when a potentially defining deal falls through. Either because of lack of trust, an agent getting on the player's ear, or GMs getting cold feet at the eleventh hour; anything can make a done deal go backward.
Sometimes, we're glad that happened, as those moves could've prevented us from some of the best moments in league history. Moreover, they could've messed up with the development of some of the best players in the world. Here, we're going to talk about the 5 failed trades that nearly changed NBA history.
5 Failed Trades That Could've Changed The NBA Forever
5. Charles Barkley Goes To The Lakers
Charles Barkley was one of the most dominant players of his generation. He had already outgrown the Philadelphia 76ers and felt like he needed to take his talents elsewhere to flourish and win his very first NBA Championship.
The Sixers also needed to move on from him so they agreed to trade him to the Los Angeles Lakers in return for James Worthy. The Lakers needed a new star with Magic Johnson retiring and Barkley was the perfect piece for their roster.
Sadly for Chuck, the Sixers backed up at the last second after he was informed that he was being traded. He was so happy that he got drunk at lunch as soon as he found out of his trade and had to play through it... for the Sixers. Then, they traded him to the Phoenix Suns for Jeff Hornacek, Andrew Lang, and Tim Perry.
4. Chris Paul's Vetoed Trade
Chris Paul is one of the greatest point guards of all time but he had to wait 16 years to make it to his first NBA Finals. He struggled to get by in the playoffs during his days with the New Orleans Hornets and he was ready to play for a championship contender such as the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Lakers would trade Lamar Odom, Goran Dragic, Kevin Martin, Luis Scola, and a 1st round pick (who later turned out to be Jeremy Lamb) to the Hornets in exchange for Paul, while the Houston Rockets would've gotten Pau Gasol.
The Hornets were owned by the NBA at the time so then-Commissioner David Stern killed the deal because it would hurt the league's competitiveness. Paul wound up in LA anyway but playing for the Los Angeles Clippers. How many rings would've he won with Kobe Bryant?
3. Stephen Curry... The Splash Buck?
Stephen Curry is the greatest shooter of all time and one of the most influential players to ever lace them up. But, what if we tell you that he could've been just another regular player? That could've happened if he had been sent to the Milwaukee Bucks as expected.
There was a strong belief that Monta Ellis and Steph couldn't coexist in the backcourt so the Golden State Warriors had to move on from one of them. They were eager to land Andrew Bogut at all cost, so they offered Steph.
Gladly for the Dubs, the Bucks were concerned about Curry's constant ankle injuries so they ended up trading away Monta Ellis, Ekpe Udoh, and Kwame Brown for Bogut. Steph flourished and became the generational superstar he is nowadays, while the Bucks... weren't that good for a couple of years.
2. Kobe Bryant Becomes A Chicago Bull
Kobe Bryant was Michael Jordan 2.0. His moves, his mentality, his attitude, everything made us remember Number 23 when we saw the Black Mamba on the court. Well, he was pretty close to following his steps and playing for the Chicago Bulls at some point in his career.
Back in 2007, Kobe was frustrated after years of struggles and a subpar supporting squad and the Bulls made an offer consisting of Luol Deng, Tyrus Thomas, Ben Gordon, and Joakim Noah for him. Bryant shut down the deal with his no-trade clause because he wanted to play with Luol Deng.
That was the second time he was close to becoming a Bull. He wanted to be traded there after losing in the 2004 NBA Finals but decided to stay after the Lakers traded away Shaquille O'Neal. Eventually, he'd spend his entire career at LA to become the best player in franchise history.
1. Michael Jordan, Clippers Superstar
Michael Jordan is considered by most as the greatest player of all time and for very good reasons. He turned a terrible Chicago Bulls team into a playoff team right away and eventually led them to 6 NBA Championships in 6 tries.
Nonetheless, back in 1988, not many people thought that he would be able to win a ring. He was a two-time Scoring Champion and MVP but some believed he was just a stat-padder who couldn't deliver when it mattered the most (sounds familiar?). So, the Los Angeles Clippers decided to make an appealing offer for him.
The Clippers offered that year's 1st and 6th pick plus 3 unnamed players in return for His Airness, and albeit the Bulls were tempted to accept, they eventually decided to keep their rising star.