Dwight Howard and Chris Paul tried to play on the same team when they were on the Orlando Magic and New Orleans Hornets, but neither wanted to go to their former respective teams.
"We were trying to play together, but it didn't work out," Howard told Yahoo! Sports.
Paul and Howard began talking about playing together in 2009.
Howard wanted Paul to join him with the Magic.
"What will you be giving up?" asked Paul, according to a source.
Paul's preference was for Howard to join him with the Hornets.
"I tried to get him to come to New Orleans," Paul told Yahoo! Sports. "It was back and forth, here and there."
Sources close to both players say that Paul and Howard eventually decided that the Dallas Mavericks would be the ideal team to play for. The Mavericks pursued trades for both players, but didn't have enough pieces to make a deal work.
Both Howard and Paul opted into their contracts for 12-13, which eliminated the option of unrestricted free agency.
Paul was all in for joining the Mavericks as a free agent in 2012, but he wanted a commitment from Howard, according to sources. Howard remained indecisive about his future and wasn't ready to commit.
Paul grew impatient waiting for Howard and requested a trade.
"We always wanted to play together," Howard said of Paul. "It didn't happen that way."
Howard and Paul are both strongly leaning toward re-signing with the Lakers and Clippers, respectively.
But the Mavericks and Hawks are both expected to have enough cap space to sign both Howard and Paul.