But then-NBA commissioner David Stern nixed the trade that would have sent Paul from New Orleans to the Lakers in 2011, using an explanation that ever since has been infamous to Lakers fans.
Lakers coach Byron Scott, who coached Paul when both were with New Orleans, said he still dreams of a Paul-Bryant pairing.
"Yeah, sometimes you want to say, 'Damn it, David Stern,'" Scott said before his team faced Paul and the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center on Friday.
"Yeah, you think about it. When they made the trade before David hexed it, I was like, 'Wow That's going to be fantastic.'"
Had he been coaching those two right now, Scott said, "I'd go to bed with a smile on my face if that was the case."