Chris Paul spent many nights in his early NBA years playing against Brandon Roy and the Portland Trail Blazers.
Paul, then with the New Orleans Hornets, showcased his excellent ball-handling skills and leadership traits. However, New Orleans eventually traded Paul to the Los Angeles Clippers, and injuries ended Roy’s career prematurely.
Instead of facing off, however, Paul and Roy could have teamed up on the Portland Trail Blazers. A proposed 2010 trade nearly made that dream a reality.
Chris Paul is a legendary point guard
The fourth overall pick in 2005, Chris Paul is still going strong entering his 16th NBA season.
A 10-time All-Star, Paul has averaged 18.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 9.5 assists, and 2.2 steals in 1,020 career games.
Last year, Paul’s first in Oklahoma City, served as a resurgence for the iconic point guard. Although his assists dropped to a career-low 6.7 per game, Paul shot 49% from the field and averaged 17.6 points a night, earning All-Star honors for the first time since the 2015-16 season.
Paul has averaged 20.9 points, 5.2 rebounds, 8.3 assists, and 2.1 steals per night in 109 career playoff games. He still has never played in an NBA Finals, though, and that may not change anytime soon.
New Orleans traded Paul to the Clippers in 2011
Chris Paul averaged 18.7 points and 9.9 rebounds across his first six NBA seasons, all coming with the New Orleans Hornets.
With Paul rapidly approaching free agency, however, New Orleans sought to trade their star point guard. Originally, the Hornets and Lakers agreed on a trade that would pair Paul with Kobe Bryant in December 2011.
The NBA, which owned the Hornets at the time, vetoed the trade. New Orleans instead traded Paul and two future second-round draft picks to the Los Angeles Clippers for Eric Gordon, Chris Kaman, Al-Farouq Aminu, and the Timberwolves’ unprotected first-round pick in 2012.
Paul averaged 18.8 points and 9.8 rebounds in six seasons with the Clippers.
Chris Paul almost teamed up with Brandon Roy a year earlier
Chris Paul could have played for another Western Conference team instead of the Los Angeles Clippers in the early 2010s.
Oregon Live reported in 2016 that New Orleans nearly traded Paul to the Portland Trail Blazers in July 2010. The trade would have partnered Paul with All-Star guard Brandon Roy and big man LaMarcus Aldridge.
As laid out by Oregon Live, New Orleans would have traded Paul and forward Emeka Okafor to Portland for point guard Andre Miller, big man Joel Przybilla, guard Jerryd Bayless, and forward Nicolas Batum.
New Orleans also would have received a first-round pick. The Hornets reportedly declined that offer because they didn’t want to trade Paul just yet.
The duo of Chris Paul and Brandon Roy would have been a fun one in the Western Conference, at least before Roy’s knee injuries got worse. Roy had knee surgery midway through the 2010-11 season and was never the same.
One has to wonder if having Paul in Portland would have meant a reduced workload and pressure on Roy. Things worked out how they did, though, and Roy is now a successful high school head coach in Washington.