Following NBA rumors is always one of the favorite hobbies for every basketball fan. Today we go one step further and present five NBA rumors that almost came true. Five deals which could have completely changed the NBA history if they had been eventually sealed.
In the list you will see some of the biggest names of the league and you will quickly realise that the distance between success and failure for a player or a franchise can be only a few details away.
Without further delay, here are five NBA trades that could have broken the league as selected by DunkStories:
5. Scottie Pippen for Shawn Kemp
What would you say if Scottie Pippen had left the Bulls for the Seattle Supersonics, and at the same time Shawn Kemp had moved to Chicago? A bit tough to imagine it, eh? Well, it’s an NBA rumor that almost came to life in 1994.
As revealed by George Karl, coach of the Sonics that season, the Chicago Bulls approached the team from Seattle in order to negotiate the trade of Shawn Kemp for Scottie Pippen. Given the tremendous potential of Kemp and the fact that he was four years younger than Pippen, the Supersonics rejected Bulls proposal.
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Back then, though, legendary former Bulls General Manager, Jerry Krause, didn’t confirm that this negotiation ever happened. His move made total sense, if we take into account that Scottie Pippen had just led the Bulls to a strong season (55 wins), while Michael Jordan was living his baseball dream with the Birmingham Barons.
In the end, Scottie Pippen stayed in Chicago and together with MJ after his return won three more NBA championships. As far as Shawn Kemp is concerned, he became a Sonics legend and gave us some remarkable dunks to remember!
4. Hakeem Olajuwon to Miami
Did you know that in 1992 Hakeem Olajuwon and the Houston Rockets came very close to end their partnership? Well, now you do! Olajuwon had found himself to be largely disappointed by the way front-office of the Rockets was handling team’s future and openly requested a trade through his agent.
“If you have a disgruntled and unhappy superstar and there are irreconcilable differences, then a trade nearly always happens at some point”, said Hakeem’s agent to the press and the game for one of the most influential trades of all-times was on!
Despite the efforts of the Rockets to get rid of Olajuwon, though, the Heat refused Houston’s proposal twice. The first offer was refused because Miami wanted to keep in their team Steve Smith and Glen Rice. When the Rockets returned offering Olajuwon and Sleepy Floyd in return for Grant Long, Seikaly and Harold Miner, the answer was again negative.
Who could have told then that three years later the Rockets would win the NBA title two times in a row thanks to the outstanding performances of Hakeem Olajuwon. This must still hurt for the Heat!
3. Sir Charles to LA
Back in 1992, Charles Barkley was still playing for Philadelphia and there were already some serious cracks in his relationship with the team. Sir Charles was blaming the 76ers for being unable to find the right guys to play on his side in order for Philadelphia to become competitive.
This is where the Los Angeles Lakers came in the picture and the NBA rumors went crazy. The 76ers examined the possibility of trading Charles Barkley to LA for Elden Campbell and James Worthy. The deal eventually didn’t proceed and Barkley end up in Phoenix after a last disappointing season in Philadelphia where the 76ers didn’t make it to the NBA Playoffs.
Sir Charles was traded to the Suns for Tim Perry, Jeff Hornacek, and Andrew Lang and was named NBA MVP just on his first season there. On top of that, the Phoenix Suns made it to the NBA Finals the same season. Not bad for Barkley!
2. Kobe to join the Bulls
There are many who might not remember that but Kobe Bryant got very close to become a Bull in 2007. After one of the most disheartening seasons of his entire career, the Black Mamba talked very openly about his displeasure of playing in a team who lacked talent and the potential of becoming a title-contender.
The Chicago Bulls tried to benefit from this situation and land Kobe in Chicago by offering Tyrus Thomas, Joakim Noah, Ben Gordon, and Luol Deng to the Lakers. The deal was almost sealed but in the end Kobe refused to move in Chicago if Deng was also part of the trade. The reason was that Bryant believed a lot in Deng and thought that without him the Bulls would lose a lot of their potential.
This refusal by Kobe was a shifting point for LA’s history, as the Lakers achieved to bring Pau Gasol on board and finally match their most valuable asset with a star of top quality. Bryant and Gasol will lead the Lakers to three NBA Finals and will manage to win two of them.
1. Michael Jordan to the LA Clippers
We saved the best for last. An NBA rumor and a near-trade that could truly bring the entire NBA history upside down. As reported by Sam Smith in his book “The Jordan Rules”, the Los Angeles Clippers made an outstanding offer to the Chicago Bulls for acquiring Michael Jordan during the 1987-88 season.
More specifically, Donald Sterling,Clippers Owner at this point, was willing to offer any five players or draft picks to the Bulls in exchange for Michael. Chicago was under extreme pressure at that time as the team was struggling with qualifying for the Playoffs.
However, the Chicago Bulls never seemed to take this offer seriously and instead of giving away their most valuable player, they scanned the market for landing fresh talent which could help them build their own empire in the upcoming years.
All the rest is history, as the Chicago Bulls became under Michael Jordan one of the most emblematic franchises in the NBA history. To the contrary, the Los Angeles Clippers continued being in kind of the same state where they still are today.
Wrapping it up!
As you can see by the list above, NBA rumors can sometimes have some truth in them. Nevertheless, it’s not always that easy for a mega-trade to be completed. There is a number of factors that can have an impact in the development of the negotiations and change the NBA history for the worse or the better.
One thing is for sure though. You can never be sure for almost anyone when it comes to NBA trades. Under the right conditions and circumstances every deal in the magic world of basketball is possible!
Featured image: Rebloggy.com