I have a high prior on not having conspiracy theories, since 99.9% of the world can be explained by normal and obvious incentives + human stupidity.
If what MSFT wanted was to lock up Sama vs having him compete, precipitating this implosion seems a really dumb strategy. If Sama wanted to start his own company, he could have, and blowing up OpenAI exacerbated that risk. God knows there's no shortage of interest in the area, he's riding at epic highs based on the success of the last year, he's one of the most connected people in all of VC, and MSFT couldn't make him take a job with them.
And given the no-compete situation in CA, they could have just hired the people directly, without any of this drama, if that's what they wanted. Plus coordinating this kind of conspiracy is hard, and word of it would almost certainly get out, to cataclysmic legal and financial repercussion once it did.
So my take is that it is what it appears to be. That's weird enough already.