Blog Entry

League's block of Paul trade damages Lakers

Posted on: December 11, 2011 5:58 pm
Edited on: December 11, 2011 6:08 pm

By Matt Moore

In life, you can often times connect every event as a consequence of a previous one. Whether by a confluence of factors or as direct result of a single act, one thing leads to another, put simply. But in the NBA it's even more so. There are only so many teams, only so many players, only so many ways to play basketball. The same coaches go through the cycles, the same front office officials, Kurt Thomas is on his ninth basketball team.

We're reminded of this when we start to examine the ramifications of what happened in the failed trade for Chris Paul by the Los Angeles Lakers in a three-way deal with the Houston Rockets and New Orleans Hornets. Attempts to revive the deal broke down Saturday night, and the fallout has been catastrophic for all three teams.

But perhaps most relevant is what happened has happened to the Los Angeles Lakers. It seems every year prior to the season there's talk of drama and this year is no exception. It was supposed to be quick and painless. Trade the star power forward that brought the Lakers two titles, Pau Gasol. Trade the enigmatic and complicated, but ultimately brilliant combo-forward Lamar Odom who has been the glue of the team for years to New Orleans. Done. But when the trade was denied by the league in what many describe as an outrage, it created a whole bucket of awkward.

Odom was happy in Los Angeles. It needs to be noted that he blossomed in LA under very specific circumstances. Phil Jackson was the calm, soothing voice he needed, Kobe Bryant the harsh glare to keep him in line. LA's Hollywood environment netted him a celebrity wife, complete with reality TV show, and commercial success. Warm weather, more money, the life of the party. And he got to compete for championships without having to be "the man." It was perfect. So to find out the team he'd help win two titles was ditching him, it upset him, and damaged his relationship with the team beyond repair.

ESPN reported Sunday night that Odom requested a trade Friday night when the deal was initially rejected, and then reiterated that desire Saturday after thinking it over for 24 hours. In short, the attempt to trade Odom to a lottery team hurt the Sixth Man of the Year beyond repair. The bridge was burned. Faced with that, the Lakers reacted in a most-unusual manner. They traded him to the team that eliminated them from the playoffs.

The deal to Dallas Nets them nearly nothing, a simple traded player exception which they'll try and switch in another deal, presumably. But reports out of L.A. describe the trade as a pure "salary dump" based on Odom's wishes. This was a championship team. They were two-time reigning champs, who ran into a red-hot Mavericks team, and hit a cold streak. They could have been as much a contender for the West as any team in the league, especially with Dallas absent Tyson Chandler.

Now, they're a chemistry-set gone wrong.

Odom was going to be a major trade asset. The TPE is good, but it's complicated to use in deals and has to fit certain requirements. So now the Lakers have Pau Gasol who's grateful to still be in Los Angeles but still hurt by the decision to move him. Furthermore, Kobe Bryant's involvement here is key. Bryant said he did not approve of the trade. So either the Lakers failed to discuss either decision with Bryant, which is blowing up the championship core, or they did, in which case Gasol now knows Bryant was willing to throw away his sidekick for CP3.

Have we mentioned that the Lakers' employ a man named Metta World Peace?

The Lakers are obviously still gaming for Chris Paul, Dwight Howard, or both. But the impact of the league's intervention in a trade that was agreed to has levied a change in their makeup, one that could have devastating effects for the favorite son of the league. It's rare you find this, but the league may have dealt a severe blow to the Lakers, who are often considered sheltered by the league due to their popularity and profitability.

The Lakers went into the playoffs last season confident that their regular-season step-back was nothing more than the cost of the drag of the season, that they were more than ready to win the title for a third team, completing Phil Jackson's fourth three-peat and giving Kobe Bryant his sixth title to tie Michael Jordan. Eight months later, they're a fractured locker room with an uncertain future, simultaneously going two different directions, and trying to recover from the reality that their Sixth Man of the Year is now playing for their biggest conference rival.

The drama in L.A. is always high. But the league's decision to either exercise its right as an owner or overstep its boundaries as a caretaker role in overriding Dell Demps' deciison-making (depending on your opinion) means that they're facing the biggest challenge since they traded for Pau Gasol. Once again, it's lights, camera action at Staples, and the locker-room drama could bring an end to a dominant decade-plus from the league's most iconic franchise.

Since: Apr 19, 2009
Posted on: December 13, 2011 11:06 pm

League's block of Paul trade damages Lakers

Where's Jerry West when you need him. Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak can not even sniff West's jock much less wear it when it comes to making big, huge, gigantic trades or personel moves.

Since: Oct 16, 2006
Posted on: December 13, 2011 4:11 pm

League's block of Paul trade damages Lakers

For anyone who thought the Lakes/HOU/NO trade was good for NO for what they were getting, (talent-wise it was okay trade, salary wise it was nothing more than a salary dump of solid but not great players that are overpaid) then why was the best they could get for Odom an exception and a draft pic,k which is next to nothing considering it will the mavs pick? I posted the same when the trade was turned-down, salary dump and this just shows thats exactly what they tried to do. CP3 was the number one asset, then Gasol, then the rest. So the team getting rid of the best player doesn't even get the second best player in the trade, just the left overs. Those who say it's better than getting nothing just don't understand what they are saying. There is thing called a salary cap, taking on three good but not great players for 1/2 your salary cap is NOT good period. That trade would have made them an average team, no doubt. But, for years to come they would never have a chance to be better than that, because they would have no money to spend until all those contracts expire in a few years. Why be mediocre for several years then rebuild? Just start doing it now unless you can get top level or younger talent at a proper salary in return.

Since: Sep 12, 2009
Posted on: December 13, 2011 1:29 pm

League's block of Paul trade damages Lakers

What part of "The League" didn't mess this up doesn't anyone understand???   Stern acted as final voice of THE HORNETS. The league needs the franchise viable to sell it. A fire sale doesn't do anyone any good, except the Lakers here. Chris Paul puts asses in the seats of the New Orleans Arena, not a bunch of pieces.

Since: May 14, 2008
Posted on: December 12, 2011 5:10 pm

League's block of Paul trade damages Lakers

"Can any one really dispute that WWE is not a real sport and the NBA is after seeing all of this?"

um...yes, yes they can.

men in tights hitting each other over the head with chairs is not a sport, and never will be. 

Since: Aug 21, 2007
Posted on: December 12, 2011 3:51 pm

League's block of Paul trade damages Lakers

Was it sterns fault the lakers hired the most horrible coach around? LOL

Since: May 7, 2009
Posted on: December 12, 2011 2:30 pm

League's block of Paul trade damages Lakers

Sorry, haters, there's no problems in Lakertown.  Stern messed up the deal, not LA management.  They are still working on Howard and getting rid of Odom was a necessary preliminary.  Without Howard they are not going to compete at the top, but that's still in play so it's hard to blame anyone yet. 

Since: Dec 2, 2006
Posted on: December 12, 2011 1:31 pm

League's block of Paul trade damages Lakers

Can any one really dispute that WWE is not a real sport and the NBA is after seeing all of this?

Since: Dec 18, 2006
Posted on: December 12, 2011 12:43 pm

League's block of Paul trade damages Lakers

First they hired a head coach and Kobe had no say in it and than they decide to trade Gasol and Odom and Kobe was kept in the dark again, that tells me management don't think highly about it's players. Not to say they need Kobe's permission but I expect them to at least talk to their #1 player too, not for his permission but just to see where he stands. If they don't get Howard or a high quality player, than I don't know what the Lakers are doing, I think no one does, even the managements.

Since: Dec 12, 2011
Posted on: December 12, 2011 11:27 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Sep 30, 2006
Posted on: December 12, 2011 11:25 am

League's block of Paul trade damages Lakers

Why is Commissioner Stern not mentioned in this article? It's his doing. And so is the lockout. 

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