This trade makes basketball sense and it makes financial sense. The NBA’s decision to nix the deal has created such an intense backlash of criticism from fans, players, and league personnel that this story will never die. If Paul isn’t traded to the Lakers in the next few days, the NBA will never hear the end of it. Chris, as well as the Players’ Union, will pursue legal action on Monday…and they will have a very strong case. No, a deal will get done…in some shape or form.
When I first heard of this deal I thought that the Hornets weren’t getting enough in return. What, no ‘big name’ player? Where was the avalanche of draft picks/salary cap space?? But when you consider the lowball offers that Hornets GM Dell Demps had gotten all week, this three-team deal starts looking very appetizing. The Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors refused to include star guards Eric Gordon and Stephen Curry, respectively. I thought it was a joke when the names being tossed around rumor mills were Aminu, Udoh and Jordan (DeAndre that is). GSW and LAC are as much to blame for this whole fiasco as anyone. If it would’ve been the Lakers or Celtics trading a star, their offers would’ve been more serious. Okay, so Paul would’ve been hesitant to sign a contract extension…but at least make a real offer to show that you’re serious about winning. These guys thought because the NBA owned the Hornets that they could get away with highway robbery. Well, David Stern put that all to rest Thursday night…If you want a superstar point guard in his prime, you’re going to have to pay for it.
I’m sure over the next couple of days the Los Angeles Lakers will do just that, with some help from the Houston Rockets. There’ll be additional draft picks and/or more talent headed to New Orleans by Monday. And, if not, the Los Angeles Clippers will come calling again…..and this time they’ll make a real offer and get a deal done.
The ‘Commish’ is just delaying the inevitable…..Chris Paul is coming to L.A., one way or another.
UPDATE: The Lakers pull out of Chris Paul talks unable to get a deal done with the NBA league office. Los Angeles will trade forward Lamar Odom to the Dallas Mavericks for a trade exception. They are now focusing efforts on acquiring Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard (Marc Stein, ESPN).