Blog Entry

Cavs owner Gilbert blasted NBA over Paul trade

Posted on: December 9, 2011 12:49 am
Edited on: December 9, 2011 10:21 am
Posted by Ben Golliverdan-gilbert

You knew he wouldn't be cool with this. You knew he wouldn't be cool with this at all.

Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert has solidified himself as a staunch hard-line owner since All-Star forward LeBron James bailed on his team and "take his talents" to the Miami Heat. Following James' decision, Gilbert penned a letter trashing his former star for his disloyalty, garnering national headlines.

The NBA's latest superstar-driven controversy erupted on Thursday, and Gilbert managed to carve out a starring role for himself in the theatre of the absurd. The New Orleans Hornets attempted to trade All-Star point guard Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers in a three-team deal, only to have NBA commissioner David Stern veto the move according to's Ken Berger. Stern was able to veto the move because the NBA bought the Hornets and Stern serves as the de facto owner and NBA spokesman Tim Frank said that the "league office declined to make the trade for basketball reasons."

Yahoo Sports obtained a letter written by Gilbert to Stern on Thursday, decrying the potential trade as a "travesty" and requesting that the NBA's owners be allowed to vote on it. Gilbert criticized the deal because he believed it would provide the Lakers with the "best player" and significant financial relief. 
Over the next three seasons this deal would save the Lakers approximately $20 million in salaries and approximately $21 million in luxury taxes. That $21 million goes to non-taxpaying teams and to fund revenue sharing.

I cannot remember ever seeing a trade where a team got by far the best player in the trade and saved over $40 million in the process. And it doesn’t appear that they would give up any draft picks, which might allow to later make a trade for Dwight Howard. (They would also get a large trade exception that would help them improve their team and/or eventually trade for Howard.) When the Lakers got Pau Gasol (at the time considered an extremely lopsided trade) they took on tens of millions in additional salary and luxury tax and they gave up a number of prospects (one in Marc Gasol who may become a max-salary player).

I just don’t see how we can allow this trade to happen. I know the vast majority of owners feel the same way that I do. When will we just change the name of 25 of the 30 teams to the Washington Generals?
The Washington Generals, of course, are the always-beaten exhibition opponents of the Harlem Globetrotters. Essentially, Gilbert is saying, the NBA just spend the last five months in a lockout in an effort to improve competitive-balance. Watching the face of a small-market franchise bolt to one of the nation's largest cities and richest teams would undercut those efforts and the league shouldn't go along with it. He's entitled to his opinion, and certainly he's correct in stating that a vast majority of the league's owners would be unhappy watching Paul join Kobe Bryant in a ridiculously talented backcourt.

But NBA trades aren't made in the best interests of all. They should be made in the best interests of the individual owners involved, and Stern personally opened up this can of worms when he pushed for the NBA to buy back the Hornets. He's undercutting New Orleans' basketball decision-makers, he's throwing the futures of multiple players up into the air and he's handcuffing at least three teams -- and potentially more -- on the eve of the free agency period. It's total chaos and he owes the NBA, its teams and its players a full explanation of his decision-making process and what the plan is moving forward.

Since: Mar 6, 2010
Posted on: December 9, 2011 11:12 am

Cavs owner Gilbert blasted NBA over Paul trade

I totally agree with Gilbert on this one. However, why in the world did the owners ever agree on any collective bargaining agreement that allowed something like this kind of trade to happen? Thy should have locked the players out for years, as in plural, and broke the union. What exactly was accomplished by the lockout? It wasn't even ratified, and Dwight Howard and Chris Paul were already leveraging their way to the Lakers or Knicks. The NBA is over. They allowed these gutless players from the LeBron generation to completely hijack the league for money. The lockout was the last hope for about 24 teams that there were going to be legitimate attempts at competitive balance, and to get rid of this current generation of NBA players, and start over. Now? Just contract the league down to 6 teams. That's all it is anyway.

Since: Jan 2, 2009
Posted on: December 9, 2011 10:34 am

Cavs owner Gilbert blasted NBA over Paul trade

Did Dan Gilbert not learn that losing your star for nothing is worse than losing him for 4 possible starters (K-MArt, Scola, Odom and Dragic)?  IF Chris Paul leaves as a FA, which he says he will, N.O. will be the Generals.  Did Cleveland not learn last year, losing all those games in a row, that you should trade your superstar if you know he ain't coming back. 

I can see why Lebron wanted to leave Cleveland.  Their owner is an idiot.  Why did you buy an NBA team?  He obviously never watched a game until he bought a team. 

I can see why Paul would want to leave New Orleans if the team is not even allowed to make trades.  They don't even have the ability to make the team more attractive for CP3 when the league owns them.   I can also see why Dwight would want to leave Orlando because Otis Smith is an idiot.

Since: Aug 22, 2008
Posted on: December 9, 2011 10:24 am

Cavs owner Gilbert blasted NBA over Paul trade

Really, this could have been avoided if the owners would have installed a franchise tag in the new CBA. Now before we all get rlled up, this works.  

The small/mid market teams that have gold nuggets (ala Hornets) can franchise Paul, and place the demand to the large city markets THEIR terms of what that player is worth in compensation (i.e, draft pick(s), player(s), cash, etc.).

Wait! Isn't that what happened in the details of this attempted trade? So the smoking gun is the conflict of interest violation by Stern's veto w/o the owners voting on it.

Since: Apr 8, 2011
Posted on: December 9, 2011 10:12 am

Cavs owner Gilbert blasted NBA over Paul trade

Who the hell wrote this article...a blind guy?

Go ahead and trade Paul to the Lakers. Become MLB. Because Gilbert is right. Just have a six team league all in large markets. See where that gets you. I will bet that it isn 1/10 of the money this narccisistic league generates now. Celtics/Lakers/Knicks/Heat/Bulls/76

ers will be just like Yankees/Red Sox/Dodgers/White Sox/ Cubs/Phillies. Good luck a$$hole. Watch the fan base dwindle when owners "look out for themselves". They should look out for the league first because withou that they do not have a team. Where did you get your journalism degree Ben? Online?

Since: Sep 19, 2011
Posted on: December 9, 2011 10:10 am

Cavs owner Gilbert blasted NBA over Paul trade

2 statements to make here:

-Anytime Dan Gilbert speaks he makes it possible to like Lebron!  This guy should have a permanent GAG ORDER!!! Regardless of if it was before or after the trade was disallowed, his comments only prove that he is an "all about me" type of owner.  Comments about changing the other 25 team names to the Washington Generals? SERIOUSLY!!! And you think a quality free agent is going to want to play for you?!!!

-This is BY FAR the best trade N.O. will get for CP3!  They were getting back a solid pg in Dragic, a potent 2 guard and 20ppg scorer in Martin, a 3 in Odom who can do a bit of everything and is a borderline All Star, a 4 in Scola who has been another borderline All Star AND a draft pick!  That trade single handedly would have brought N.O. back to being a somewhat decent basketball team. 

Way to cut the nose off to spite the face NBA!        

Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: December 9, 2011 10:10 am

Cavs owner Gilbert blasted NBA over Paul trade

OK, so let me get this straight:

1) the small market teams wanted to stop big market teams from over spendng
2) the Lakers (according to Gilbert) removed 40 million from the books by trading two starters (call Odom the 6th man if you want)
3) yet the small market teams are mad. 

Dan Gilbert is a child - period.  He sounds ridiculous.

If this trade does not go through, the Hornets franchise will fold within 24 months.  Paul is leaving in the off-season - that is a done deal.  They cannot make trades, and I cannot imagine anyone wanting to sign with them as a free agent.  if Paul makes a fuss and doesn't show up or has to litigate, the already small number of ticket sales that New Orleans is getting will dwindle even further.  A franchise that the league already has already found a hard time finding a buyer for is going to be... what, EASIER to sell once it becomes even less profitable?  I am not sure they can survive even if the trade DOES go through at this point, but without it, 2012-13 will be the last season of basketball for the Hornets.

Small market teams just killed one of their own.  Good job Stern. 

I love this stuff.  Long live the NBA.  Where else can you find drama like this?

Since: Sep 4, 2011
Posted on: December 9, 2011 10:09 am

Cavs owner Gilbert blasted NBA over Paul trade

When LeBron took his talents to south beach he also took the NBA and dumped it on it's ass. I.m not sure how anybody in a a small market can ever be a fan of the NBA ever again. The league is going to end up a 12 team league. Does anybody think the next wave of superstars will stay for a second contract in cities like Milwaukee or Denver? No, they will bail after their first contract to higher profile cities like New York and Chicago. There is no hope that you can build your team through the draft anymore and even middle tier FAs are taking less to play on these super teams. With new CBA in place and tougher salary cap rules the lower level teams will be stuck having to get to the cap by paying lower quality payers to stupid contracts that will only hand-cuff them further. Some of this certainly falls on Stern for deciding to promote stars over teams. Players do have the right play where they want after first contract but if they all are going to force trades and never sign with the team the came up with so they can win what I consider suedo championships more power to them. It does mean I am no longer fan of the NBA and will spend less than total of 30mins watching games this season.

Since: Apr 28, 2010
Posted on: December 9, 2011 10:06 am

Cavs owner Gilbert blasted NBA over Paul trade

I never new the teams with the biggest super stars won the championship every year.  Oh wait, that's right, they don't.  Occasionally, they do, but most of the time they don't.  Super stars don't guarantee championships. The reason why people don't like the Lakers is because they win a lot.  Not every year, but in general, they win. 

Also, why do people come onto a basketball blog and say that basketball isn't what football is?  Ummm, there's only a handful of teams in the NFL that have a reasonable shot of winning the whole thing every year also.  Football is my favorite sport but the NFL isn't managed any better than the NBA.  Same problems on every level.

Since: Mar 4, 2008
Posted on: December 9, 2011 9:46 am

Cavs owner Gilbert blasted NBA over Paul trade

He sent the email after the league VETOED the trade.  It isn't just Gilbert, he just happens to be the one who isn't afraid to put it in writing.  Sorry he is both right and wrong in this situation, but the league is set up how it is and the trade should be able to go through.  The owners had their chance to step on the players rights and lock their a$$s out for the entire season and changed the system, unfortunately nothing, and I mean nothing is changed until the middle of this agreement when the new rookies come up and the owning team has more control.

Since: Jan 5, 2010
Posted on: December 9, 2011 9:40 am

Cavs owner Gilbert blasted NBA over Paul trade

I am a Cavs fan and have been since the days of Austin Carr whe n I was a kid.  However, I believe the lead Gilbert took here and the other owners backing was purely selfish.  Paul is not going to stay in NO after the season.  Odom is still a solid player and Martin, Scola, and Dragic can all play.  Three of them could either be starting or in the first seven.  If Paul walks at the end of the season, they get nothing...nothing!

So the slefishness of other owners destroys a team for the next several seasons because of their own bias and interests.  Gasol fills a hole Houston left by Yao, so they win as well.  Regardless of the league owning NO, they should not have a say in this situation.  The Hornets management made the best of a bad situation and got spanked for being good at their jobs by a plethora of cowardice and narcissism.

I had little sympathy for the players during the lockout because what other business can you demand the people taking the business risk giving you their profits.  However, the last 24 hours show that all of them are out of touch with reality (players and owners).    

These items are the reason that this year, Mr. Gilbert gets none of my money (12 games/year) and NCAA basketball will get my attention and money.

Go Buckeyes!      

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