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NBA News: Chris Paul Nearly Teamed Up With Two NBA Legends

Dec 25, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Chris Paul (3) and forward Andrew Wiggins (22) during the first half against the Denver Nuggets at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

On Dwyane Wade‘s podcast The Why with Dwyane Wadeit was revealed Chris Paul nearly joined the Miami Heat via trade. This trade would have teamed the two up alongside LeBron James. The reason the trade never happened? Neither player was interested in giving up their iconic No. 3 jersey number:

“Do you remember the call with you, Bron and I? Do you remember us getting on the phone?” Wade asked Paul.

“We was talking about me coming to Miami,” Paul replied. “We was talking about who was gonna have the ball in their hands, how it’s going to work. Then who was it? Was it CJ who said something about who was going to wear number three?”

“Bro, that’s what I wanted to get to,” Wade said. “We talk about all of this, who gonna have the ball, how we’re all going to play together, no CP can have the ball. We done figured all that out. And then somebody said ‘Well who gon’ wear number three?’ Silence. Messed the whole trade up because CP couldn’t wear number three in Miami, messed the whole trade up.”

Since joining the league in 2005, Paul has played for six teams. He has worn the No. 3 at every stop. As for Wade, from 2003-2017, he wore the No. 3 with the Heat and Chicago Bulls. For a few months with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Wade wore the No. 9, but he went back to his famous No. 3 jersey after the team traded him back to the Heat in 2018. The Heat retired Wade’s jersey number in 2020.

Ultimately, the New Orleans Hornets traded Paul to the Los Angeles Clippers in 2011.

NBA News: Chris Paul Nearly Teamed Up With Two NBA Legends

The Hypothetical Impact of a Chris Paul-Miami Heat Trade

Let’s assume this trade would have happened in 2011. At the time, the Heat were coming off a Finals loss to the Dallas Mavericks. This was the first year of their “Big Three” which also included Chris Bosh. Acquiring a guy like Paul, who was arguably the best point guard in the league at the time, would have made the Heat even more unstoppable. Mario Chalmers, the team’s starting point guard in 2011, was solid, but he was not on Paul’s level. Currently, Paul is still vying for an NBA championship. If he joined the Heat over a decade ago, he would likely have multiple rings to add to his resume. With Wade, James, and Bosh at the helm, the Heat won two championships and made four NBA Finals appearances in as many years.

The Last Word

Imagining Paul on “The Heatles” is interesting. His two-way play and elite playmaking would have made him a perfect fit next to James and Wade. Paul is already well on his way to the Basketball Hall of Fame, but this trade could have put him on a different level of NBA immortality.


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