Paul Gets Traded to Lakers, NBA Nixes Deal
In what was a wild sequence of events, Chris Paul went from being trade to the Los Angeles Lakers from the New Orleans Hornets as part of a three-team deal that also involved the Houston Rockets on Wednesday evening.
However, about an hour after the deal was announced, the NBA pulled the plug on the trade, citing "basketball reasons".
Paul, who has been the most talked about player for the past nine months, told the Hornets that he was not interested in signing an extension to stay in the Big Easy. Many suitors wanted to covet the services of CP3, but the Lakers came out with what was the best deal for Hornets' GM Dell Demps, as he would have acquired Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom. Gasol would then be traded to Houston for Kevin Martin, Goran Dragic, and Luis Scola.
Yahoo! Sports reported early Thursday morning an email for the league office from Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, caling the deal a "travesty", and asking "When will we just change the name of 25 of the 30 teams to the Washington Generals?". Gilbert also stated the deal was not fair as the Lakers were getting the best player in the deal and saving $40M, which the Lakers could have used to get another coveted star, Dwight Howard. Either way, while the league (who owns the Hornets by the way) killed this deal, they may have set off a backlash to an already tainted image due to the 161-day lockout.
The fallout of this now looks as if the NBA is holding Paul hostage in New Orleans. Many players have took to Twitter after the deal and started a "Free CP3" campaign. The owners (the league) are looking for that desperate parity it covets. The trade that was made by Dell Demps was probably the best deal that it could have received. Paul got his wish to leave, the Hornets would have received four proven players, and Pau Gasol would have been the focal point of a Rockets team with new coach Kevin McHale. However, sources say Gasol did not want to go to Houston, so for him, this trade not happening was the best thing for him.Continued on the next page