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Tag:David Stern
Posted on: December 13, 2011 10:33 pm
Edited on: December 14, 2011 6:36 am
 

Lakers talking Pau Gasol for Chris Paul trade?

Posted by Ben Gollivercp3-kobe

It's Los Angeles vs. Los Angeles in the Chris Paul sweepstakes.

CBSSports.com's Ken Berger reports that the Clippers continue to be a possible trade partner, should the New Orleans Hornets finally relinquish Paul, their All-Star point guard, after days of rumored trade talks.

ESPN.com reported on Tuesday night that the Lakers, a team that twice had potential three-team deals for Paul struck down by NBA commissioner David Stern last weekend, are back in the thick of it.
The Los Angeles Lakers, however, continue to loom as a potential destination, sources said, despite their apparent exit from the Paul sweepstakes on Saturday. The Lakers walked away from the table after multiple attempts to complete a three-team trade with the Hornets and Houston Rockets for Paul, and then agreed to trade New Orleans-bound Lamar Odom to the Dallas Mavericks instead.

ESPN.com learned Tuesday that a Lakers' deal for Paul has not yet been ruled out, contingent on the fact that they can recruit at least one other team to supply some of the young pieces that the league is demanding. But the Lakers do still have Gasol as a centerpiece, who could either replace Paul as the Hornets' franchise player or give New Orleans a top-20 player to be dangled in subsequent deals.

"The Lakers are definitely still in this," said one source close to the talks.
NBA.com confirms that both the Clippers and the Lakers are "both in play" for Paul's services.
 
Gasol was the best player not named Paul in the earlier three-team framework with Houston, so it was a bit unusual that he was not originally headed back to the team that stood to lose the best player involved. But that was the nature of the Lakers' dilemma, as they simply did not have enough young pieces and/or draft picks to make an enticing offer that would have helped New Orleans rebuild in the wake of the loss of their franchise player. 

Since those talks fell apart, former Hornets All-Star forward David West signed a two-year deal with the Indiana Pacers and Lakers forward Lamar Odom, who would have been sent to New Orleans, was instead traded to the Mavericks. In other words, New Orleans' frontline is now incredibly thin and the prospect of acquiring Gasol could be more palatable than the idea of making do by re-signing free agent forward Carl Landry.

Such a trade would leave Los Angeles with newly-acquired forward Josh McRoberts and center Andrew Bynum up front, pending any other moving pieces. That's not a ton of depth, especially given Bynum's propensity for injury and knuckle-headed behavior. Lakers forward Derrick Caracter suffered a knee injury during training camp on Tuesday, further compromising the Lakers' frontcourt.
Posted on: December 12, 2011 10:59 pm
 

Steve Kerr: Dan Gilbert needs to 'get over it'

Posted by Royce Young

After the NBA's ridiculous handling of the Chris Paul situation in New Orleans, a lot of people have felt the need to vent. I know I have. I caught myself yelling at my dog yesterday saying things like, "How dare the NBA intervene and manipulate the league!"

Steve Kerr though, has a much bigger voice and when he talks, a lot more people than a dog listen up. Kerr is a TNT analyst now, but was the Phoenix Suns general manager for a number of years and a prominant player on a couple of Michael Jordan's championship Bulls. He knows the inside of the business. He knows how it all works. And he is fired up about the way the NBA blocked CP3's trade to the Lakers, most notably about Dan Gilbert who sent an email to David Stern the day it happened complaining about it. Via Sports Radio Interviews:
"It's such a crock that he would even mention that. That guy is a billionaire, they have been way over the cap while they had LeBron, way over the tax. He's still upset that he lost LeBron and he needs to get over it. LeBron gave that franchise the best seven years they have ever had. He was a free agent and he decided to leave. Nobody likes the way LeBron left, even he apologized for it the other night on TV but the fact is there is a thing called free agency and if a superstar player wants to leave when they are agents, they can leave."
Tell us how you really feel, Steve.

But he couldn't be more right. Gilbert was complaining about things like the luxury tax and how the Lakers were going to save money, therefore cutting into the revenue shared with small market teams like his Cavs. Gilbert said that 25 teams were the Washington Generals. He's basically been playing quite the woe-is-me thing ever since LeBron left the Cavs.

Kerr on the trade itself:
"Every one of them is wrong and I don't know how many there are either but I've been angry all day long about this whole thing because I think it was a great basketball trade. There are so many trades made these days that are lousy trades that are made for financial purposes ... The problem I have is that this was a great trade for the Hornets.

There's no way they can duplicate that. I thought Dell Demps did an incredible job. You end up with three legitimate good players in (Luis) Scola, Kevin Martin, and (Lamar) Odom. You get a first round pick, you get Goran Dragic who I like and a guy I drafted in Phoenix. He's a good player. You're telling me you're going to deny that for basketball reasons when every single other analyst out there and every GM thinks they hit a home run with that trade. And by the way in seven months if they play it out they are getting nothing."

[...]

I made one of the worst trades in NBA history. I traded Kurt Thomas and two first round picks to Seattle for nothing, to save 16 million dollars for our organization. Where was the NBA then to veto that trade for basketball reasons?"
First, I love that Kerr acknowledges how bad the Thomas trade was. He made it to save Robert Sarver some money, but that deal ended up giving then Seattle and now the Thunder, two first round picks, one of which turned into Serge Ibaka. Like he said, why didn't the league intervene with that?

The point with this whole thing is, is that the league shouldn't have such a heavy hand here. Yes, the NBA owns the Hornets. But it's also supposed to oversee the league and make sure things stay fair. It's supposed to stay out of the way. For as much as the NBA preached competitive balance, they sure have stuck their thumb out and intentionally hurt the Rockets and Lakers. It's not fair and it's got people like Steve Kerr angry.

I would say that it's going to be awkward when TNT does a Cavs game, but we all know that nobody is wasting a national television game on the Cavs. Unless LeBron's coming to town. The truth hurts, huh Dan?

Via Deadspin
Posted on: December 12, 2011 5:13 pm
Edited on: December 12, 2011 5:34 pm
 

Chris Paul Trade Update: Demps a 'spectator' now?

Posted by Royce Young

It's not good to be Dell Demps right now. He's officially the general manager of the New Orleans Hornets, the guy in charge of all transactions and roster decisions of the franchise.

But he might as well be a ballboy. Maybe a ballboy with every NBA GM on speed dial, but that's about the only edge he has at this point.

After Demps has watched three of his trades for Chris Paul fall apart because the NBA wouldn't approve (two Lakers, one Clippers), Demps has to be frustrated. And as Yahoo! Sports reports, he's merely just along for the ride now.

“He’s basically a spectator now,” one official said.

Stern has two of his top league office executives – Joel Litvin and Stu Jackson – making calls and conducting negotiations with teams interested in Paul. Demps is still making calls, but rival front offices and agents involved in possible deals with New Orleans say that he’s no longer authorized to decide on any transaction.

Teams interested in Paul have to send formal “bids” to the league office, sources said.

A lot of people have described this thing as a mess, circus or complete cluster. Choose your word and it probably fits. It's ridiculous, frustrating, maddening and downright stupid. The league has a serious conflict of interest here and two NBA executives are the ones running the show. Does that not completely blow your mind?

It might be one thing if this was all over Jarrett Jack or Quincy Pondexter. But this is about Chris Paul. This is about a deal that will completely alter the landscape of the NBA. And it's a deal that should have been done almost a week ago.

Instead, Big Brother is watching over the Hornets and completely cutting off Demps' manhood. The league said a deal in which Demps put together receiving Lamar Odom, Luis Scola, Kevin Martin, Goran Dragic and some picks wasn't enough. The league wanted Eric Gordon, Eric Bledsoe, Chris Kaman, Al-Farouq Aminu and the very valuable Minnesota 2012 pick, but the Clippers said it was too much.

Basically we're getting the NBA labor negotiations all over again but instead of BRI and mid-level exceptions, we've got Chris Paul and some draft picks.

It might not all be completely over though. Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports the league and Clippers are trying to revive a deal. However, as Berger tweeted around 5:30 p.m. ET, "it's over." ESPN.com reports though the league is hopeful the deal will be resolved soon.

So do we. So does Chris Paul. And most especially, so does Dell Demps.
Posted on: December 11, 2011 11:44 pm
Edited on: December 12, 2011 12:21 pm
 

NBA Free Agency: Opening weekend winners & losers

Posted by Ben Golliver

nba-winners-losers

Deals, non-deals, endless rumors and more. It was a wild opening weekend for the abbreviated 2011 NBA free agency period. Here's an extended look at who won and lost over the first 72 hours. Let's break it down: from the biggest moves to the smallest signings, from the trades that weren't to the guys who remain unsigned.

The Biggest Deal

The NBA came to a standstill when a proposed 3-team trade between the New Orleans Hornets, Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets that would have sent Chris Paul to L.A. fell apart twice thanks to vetoes from NBA commissioner David Stern.

Winners: Orlando Magic

This fiasco was even uglier than the lockout, which is saying something. All the key parties wound up losing one way or another – see below -- but the Magic slide in as winners because the Lakers emerged from the weekend without acquiring a second superstar to pair with Kobe Bryant, and with both Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol, two excellent potential trade chips for Dwight Howard, still on the roster. The Magic win whether L.A. ends up pairing those two in a deal for Howard or if the idea of such a deal simply sits out there as a potential offer against which Howard’s other suitors must match up. Orlando needs a bidding war in the worst way and the Paul failure ensures that L.A. still has plenty of motivation, and attractive pieces, to actively bid.

Losers: Chris Paul and the New Orleans Hornets

Paul was seemingly inches from an NBA second life and a brand new level of fame. Instead, he returns to a camp with a roster in tatters and the news that longtime running mate David West is Indiana-bound. His future couldn’t be more uncertain amid the confusion and he’s now forced to deal with questions day after day with no short-term end in sight. Sounds awesome! Thanks, boss.

Hornets GM Dell Demps and coach Monty Williams, meanwhile, are left with a frustrated Paul who obviously still wants out, a barren roster and serious questions about their autonomy as a basketball operations group, not to mention the fact that the league-owned situation could result in another franchise sale at some point in the near future. All this for a team that -- less than a year ago -- was a dynamic playoff force that gave the Lakers a run for their money. The ground fell out from under them.

Monumental Loser: David Stern

It wasn’t just the tremendously questionable decision to veto the trades that makes Stern a loser. It was the way the process unfolded. On what should have been the most exciting time on the NBA calendar following months of petty bickering during the lockout, the spotlight wound up back on Stern. Vetoing the trade directly alienated his league’s most important team, completely undermined the team he operates, and handcuffed the poor Houston Rockets, who were in the middle of a critical strategic time in their franchise’s post-Yao history. The delayed explanation for the veto led to a virtual standstill in other moves, as everyone around the league waited for the largest domino to fall. The eventual attempts at explanation were vague and way too late, leading to an open season of criticism of Stern and talk of walkouts from training camp. One player, Lamar Odom, was so upset by the trade talk limbo that he followed through on that threat, finding himself dumped to the Dallas Mavericks for virtually nothing. Now that it’s all said and done, the Hornets can look forward to worse offers for Paul and/or the prospect that he walks from the team as soon as free agency allows. Nice.

Other Big Deals

Winners: New York Knicks and Tyson Chandler

It’s great when solid matches come together fairly cleanly. New York made no secret of its desire for Chris Paul but was smart enough not to waste precious time on what ended up being a sinkhole. Targeting Chandler and making the necessary moves to acquire him – amnestying Chauncey Billups and trading Ronny Turiaf – took creativity and guts, and the eventual payoff is the best 3-4-5 combination in the NBA. Chandler fills New York’s biggest need and comes in at a reasonable $58 million over four years, a deal that will carry him through the rest of his prime years.

Chandler manages to cash in his new-found respect from the 2011 title team with an excellent pay day from a marquee franchise that is clearly on the upswing. Knicks fans will love his game (as long as he stays healthy, of course).

Losers: Golden State Warriors and DeAndre Jordan

Kudos to the Warriors for doing the right thing with Charlie Bell by telling him to stay away from training camp after he showed up drunk to a court hearing following his second DUI arrest in under a year. It was time to take a stand and they took it. That stand didn’t need to include burning the team’s amnesty clause to release Bell’s paltry $4.1 million salary. With David Lee, Monta Ellis and Andris Biedrins all on the books for big-time money, the amnesty is a critical protection against injury for the Warriors. With a bunch of promising youngsters in place, it will be a shame if an unforeseen, devastating injury slows the organization’s ability to wheel and deal because they burned the amnesty toon soon and wind up crippled when it comes to cap flexibility.

Why did the Clippers bother to amnesty Bell? For the right to make a substantial offer to Los Angeles Clippers restricted free agent center DeAndre Jordan, a player that team consultant Jerry West appeared to question in an interview this weekend. Clippers owner Donald Sterling is impossible to pin down but his management team is highly motivated to retain Jordan, and will almost certainly match the offer given, leaving Golden State with nothing except $4 million of cap room to show for their misguided efforts.  

Winners: Memphis Grizzlies and Marc Gasol

Marc Gasol, like Chandler, was one of the premier names in this weak free agent class. He will reportedly cash in to a similar degree: receiving a 4 year, $55 million offer sheet from the Rockets that the Grizzlies are expected to match. Retaining Gasol was a critical momentum move in Memphis, as the miracle playoff run to defeat the San Antonio Spurs would have been a distant memory if Gasol was allowed to walk and leave a major hole in the middle. Instead, it’s back for more fun for one of the grittiest, most underappreciated groups in the game. Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley answered the questions about whether he would step up and pay to play, inking Gasol, forwards Zach Randolph and Rudy Gay and guard Michael Conley to big-time extensions. Good times in Tennessee.

Losers: Los Angeles Lakers and Lamar Odom

Surely seller’s remorse is sinking in after an emotional rollercoaster of a weekend in L.A., which saw the Lakers immediately grant Odom’s trade request, shipping him out of town for nothing more than cap relief and a heavily protected first round pick. The fact that he lands on a major conference rival makes this a very meaningful talent swing and the Lakers are capped out to the point where replacing his many contributions will be exceedingly difficult in the short-term. It’s no surprise that Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher weren’t all that psyched about this move. The Lakers couldn’t have gotten less for Odom and he couldn’t have gone to a worse destination, other than maybe the Oklahoma City Thunder.

On the other hand, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban emerges as a major winner, having flipped a simple trade exception acquired from New York in the Chandler signing for a top-flight, versatile player still in his prime years who happens to be on an affordable, flexible contract. All in less than 24 hours. Meanwhile, a similarly massive trade exception created by LeBron James’ departure still sits unused by the Cleveland Cavaliers and owner Dan Gilbert. Please advise.

Dwight Howard Saga

Winner: Dwight Howard

It might come with a public relations price, but it probably feels like a huge relief for Howard knowing that the world now gets where he stands: he’s formally requested a trade and has been in contact with teams on his wish list. No more goofy games or beating around the bush. He’s a major step closer to a certain future. The scrutiny will surely increase but at least people, especially Magic fans, have a better idea of where he’s coming from and how they should manage their expectations.

Loser: Otis Smith

It doesn’t get any worse than watching your CEO drunk dial Howard and then promptly resign. Oh, wait, yes it does. Your franchise announces major layoffs and Howard tells the world that he hasn’t had any contact with you since requesting a trade and that you never listened to him when he made personnel suggestions. Oh, yeah, you can also make an illogical 4-year, $25 million commitment to Jason Richardson, a veteran wing on the precipice of decline, when everyone knows you should be looking for any possible way to reduce payroll. Brutal. On the bright side, as mentioned above, at least the Lakers are still in play to help the Magic save some face.

Medium Deals

Winners: Indiana Pacers and David West

The Pacers land West, one of the biggest and most proven names on the free agent market who fits in nicely to a well-balanced, fairly deep roster that has talent at all five positions. A nice mix of veterans, youngsters and some solid bigs make this a group that might just compete for homecourt advantage in the Eastern Conference playoffs next season. The price for West – 2 years and $20 million – is totally reasonable and hedged nicely against possible deterioration from his recent knee injury and aging. West scores a ticket out of a totally shipwreck in New Orleans, a solid pay day and the chance to hit free agency one more time in two years before his value starts to really diminish.

Losers: Sacramento Kings and Marcus Thornton

You can be as high on Thornton’s upside as you like: it’s very, very difficult to justify spending $31 million over four seasons on a guy who has the same skillset as the two players that you’re most heavily invested in, Tyreke Evans and Jimmer Fredette. With one of the lowest payrolls in the league and a need to up that number in a hurry, it’s not like Sacramento spent its way into a corner here, but there’s simply no way to maximize the effectiveness of Evans, Fredette and Thornton at the same time. Evans and Fredette are 22 and Thornton is 24. Thornton doesn’t meaningfully help you win now and he necessitates a stunted or unorthodox development pattern for Fredette and will almost certainly wind up in staring contests over shot selection with Evans. The money had to be spent and at least it wasn’t spread over five years, but $31 million should solve problems, not create new ones.

Having A Plan

Winners: Miami Heat

Getting Mario Chalmers, a quality point guard who was headed for free agency, for 3-years and $12 million, with a team option on the last year to boot, is an excellent value. Getting Shane Battier for the mini Mid-Level Exception is downright ridiculous. By the way, the Heat brought back James Jones, brought in Eddy Curry and managed to retain Mike Miller. Simply amazing. Miami emerged from the weekend as the overwhelming title favorites.

Losers: Portland Trail Blazers

During a Monday press conference, Portland announced its intentions of starting Brandon Roy and spoke excitedly about the prospect of Greg Oden’s return. By Friday, Roy had decided to pursue a medical retirement, apparently without giving the team any notice, and Oden had suffered yet another medical “setback” that puts his 2011-2012 into jeopardy. Then, with executives scrambling to pursue contingency plans, franchise forward LaMarcus Aldridge was forced to undergo a heart procedure that is expected to keep him out up to two weeks. The Blazers salvaged the weekend by signing veteran Kurt Thomas to fill a much-needed hole, but wound up giving a 2-year deal to a 39-year-old. After all of that, the team is still weighing whether or not to amnesty Roy. That’s a tough stretch.

Minor Deals

Winners: Washington Wizards

The Wizards scored a draft pick and Ronny Turiaf for virtually nothing thanks to the cash considerations included by the Knicks for their work in facilitating the Chandler trade. Filling a roster hole for free and grabbing a future asset is always a win.

Loser: Chauncey Billups

Billups compounded a tough situation – getting amnestied by the Knicks without much warning – by flipping out publicly in the hope that he would scare off potential bidders for his services. He could quickly change from loser to winner if his nuclear strategy works and he winds up getting to pick a contender to latch on to, but for now a guy who was always known as a class act sure looks like a jerk. How many times do you think Billups has said “the NBA is a business” during interviews? 10,000? How do you forget all of that so quickly and threaten to disrupt a team’s locker room? He crossed a line.

Winners: Phoenix Suns

They weren’t flashy moves, but re-signing veteran forward Grant Hill back for just $6.5 million and snatching up former Lakers guard Shannon Brown for $3.5 million were very nice value plays that addressed needs. Of course, the Suns have made their fair share of mistakes in recent years, so value plays were about the only moves at their disposal.

Loser: J.J. Barea

Who is going to pay this man? Have we figured that out yet? Had there not been a lockout and had the old Mid-Level Exception system been in place, he likely would have seen a monster financial bonanza off of his impressive NBA playoffs. Instead, he waits and wonders. He could very well still get paid, but something says this free agency process didn't play out quite like he expected. Update: On Monday morning comes word that Barea will get his money, $19 million over 4-years, but is signing with the 17-win Minnesota Timberwolves to do it. From first to worst. Ouch.

Posted on: December 11, 2011 12:56 pm
Edited on: December 11, 2011 12:59 pm
 

Deron Williams blasts David Stern: 'He's a bully'

Posted by Ben Golliver

deron-williams-david-stern

The public backlash against NBA commissioner David Stern over his handling of recent Chris Paul trade talks just got an added boost of superstar juice.

New Jersey Nets All-Star point guard Deron Williams slammed, calling him a "bully" repeatedly, in comments made on Sunday, one day after the Lakers pulled out of extended 3-team trade talks that would have landed the New Orleans Hornets All-Star point guard in Los Angeles.

The New York Daily News has a rundown of Williams' public critique, which could very well end up drawing a fine from the commissioner's office.
"You’re fighting a bully. David Stern is a bully, you can’t really go up against him,” Williams said.

Williams didn’t back off when asked again. “He knows he’s a bully. It’s not a secret,” Williams said, laughing. “You got to be. I think every owner of every big business is a bully. That’s how they become successful.”

Williams said he has tried to contact Paul recently, but understands his friend is in a “tough situation.”
It's hard to dispute Williams' sentiment given how harshly the NBA lockout played out and how authoritarian Stern's stance on the Paul trade appears from the outside, although this type of candor is rare in the NBA as the league office tends to respond harshly to even the slightest criticism from amongst its ranks. 

Williams is an obvious ally for Paul, who saw a great chance to leave behind a disorganized Hornets organization to play for the league's premier organization explode over the last 72 hours. Williams and Paul are friends, were drafted in the same year, led small-market teams against the big dogs for years and are now anxiously looking forward to flex their muscles and improve their NBA situation with free agency approaching. Of course Williams will stand by Paul publicly: he realizes that if something like this can happen to CP3, it can happen to D-Will too. 

The outcry over Stern's decision to step in and veto the Paul-to-the-Lakers trade on Thursday also led Indiana Pacers forward Danny Granger to joke that he was considering changing his last name to "Stern's B****." Paul threatened not to show up to training camp and Lakers forward Lamar Odom, who was also involved in the trade proposal, did not participate in Lakers camp on Friday and was promptly traded to the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday.

Stern's heavy-handedness towards players was a hot topic during the lockout. Television commentator Bryant Gumbel criticized Stern for acting like a "modern plantation overseer" and NBPA attorney Jeffrey Kessler said that Stern treated the players "like plantation workers."
Posted on: December 11, 2011 12:01 am
Edited on: December 11, 2011 2:03 am
 

Lakers nix Chris Paul trade; to ship Odom to Mavs

Posted by Ben Golliverkobe-bryant-chris-paul

The Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers trade proposal has blown up.

After three days of negotiations that reportedly included two potential 3-team trade frameworks that would have sent the New Orleans Hornets All-Star point guard to the Lakers, word on Saturday night is that Los Angeles has abandoned those talks to head in a different direction.

ESPN.com and DraftExpress.com both reported that the Lakers have pulled out of the 3-team discussions, which also included the Houston Rockets. ESPN.com further reported that the Lakers will trade forward Lamar Odom to the Dallas Mavericks, who earlier received a large trade exception in return for trading center Tyson Chandler to the New York Knicks, in exchange for "unspecified draft considerations." The Dallas Morning News later reported that the pick will be top-20 protected with the Mavericks having six years to decide when to turn it over to the Lakers.

Ken Berger of CBSSports.com confirms that the Lakers are "out of the Chris Paul talks and will trade Lamar Odom to Dallas into exception created by Tyson Chandler." Odom's 2011-2012 salary of $8.9 million easily fits into the 8-figure trade exception created by Chandler's departure.

If the Lakers really do move Odom, a key rotation member and solid value, simply to acquire a trade exception and picks, then all signs point to this being a set-up move prior to pursuing another trade, perhaps one including Orlando Magic All-Star center Dwight Howard, a long-time rumored Lakers target. On Friday, Berger reported that the Magic had given Howard's agent permission to speak with the Lakers.

Another possible explanation for the trade: Odom's state of mind. After being involed in the Paul trade rumors, Odom did not attend Lakers training camp on Friday, instead meeting with Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak and then departing the team's practice facility, according to the Los Angeles Times

"To me, I would think it's better to stay away," Odom told the paper. "You know, the energy and all. I don't know how it's going to go right now. It's a little weird."

The Lakers' decision to give up their pursuit of Paul comes two days after NBA commissioner David Stern stepped in to veto one 3-team trade proposal and hours after reports indicated that the teams had submitted another proposal for his approval. It also comes hours after Berger reported that a "framework of revamped trade agreement" had been reached among the parties, one that was "pending approval of the commissioner."

Saturday's offer would have seen the Houston Rockets send Kevin Martin, Luis Scola and a draft pick to New Orleans, as they had in Thursday's original offer, but would have included further deal tweaks will occur between the Lakers and Hornets. The original proposal also had the Lakers sending All-Star big man Pau Gasol to the Rockets and Odom to the Hornets. 

The New York Times reported on Friday that the league urged the Hornets to get a "better, younger package" in exchange for Paul to ensure long-term success for the struggling franchise after Stern nixed the original move in his role as overseer of the league-owned Hornets. The NBA initially said the trade had been vetoed for "basketball reasons" and issued a full statement on Friday morning.

"We decided, free from the influence of other NBA owners, that the team was better served with Chris in a Hornets uniform than by the outcome of the terms of that trade," Stern's statement read.

Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert sent a letter to Stern that called the proposed trade a "travesty" while players criticized Stern for stepping in to block the trade.
Posted on: December 9, 2011 1:29 pm
Edited on: December 9, 2011 1:44 pm
 

Reactions to Chris Paul: Cuban, Stern's statement

Posted by Royce Young

Everyone is pretty much freaking over the Chris Paul trade. For good reasons. It's pretty much an unprecedented move that completely blew the doors off the league and everybody covering it.

After it happened, the common thinking was it was the owners that pressured David Stern. There was the Dan Gilbert email which is just sickening, but he was really the only one anyone could connect to it. Now Mark Cuban has come clean to the Ben and Skin show in Dallas:

"The message is we went through this lockout for a reason," Cuban said Friday. "Again, I'm not speaking for Stern. He's not telling me his thought process. I'm just telling you my perspective, having gone through all this. There's a reason that we went through this lockout, and one of the reasons is to give small-market teams the ability to keep their stars and the ability to compete."

Stern claimed it was vetoed for "basketball reasons" saying that he felt the team was better served with Paul in New Orleans. Everyone knows that's pretty much bogus because owners like Cuban don't mind saying they disagreed.

"We just had a lockout, and one of the goals of the lockout was to say that small-market teams now have a chance to keep their players, and the rules were designed to give them that opportunity," Cuban said. "So to all of a sudden have a league-owned team trade their best player, particularly after having gone out and sold a ton of tickets in that market, that's not the kind of signal you want to send.

"Then, part two of that is all the rules of what you can and can't do under the new CBA weren't finalized until yesterday, so how do you really make a strategic decision until you know all the rules?"

By the sound of Cuban there, it seems like maybe this could be revisited after the league is officially up and running again. Maybe, maybe not. 

Would it be different if this were the Mavs getting Paul though? Would Cuban have a different opinion if his team were acquiring a great player like him?

"I mean, obviously, I wouldn't have been happy, but I would have understood because it was a conversation a lot of owners had long before the Laker deal was consummated," Cuban said. "It was like, 'Look, sure, I'd love him. Give him to me in a heartbeat.' But the whole idea of the lockout was to prevent stuff like that.

"Players will always have the right to choose what they want to do as a free agent, but the players agreed to rules that said, 'You know what? Let's give the home team, the incumbent team an extra advantage.' And that's how the rules were designed. I think they're going to work."

David Stern released a statement about the trade to try and explain what happened here. Trust me, it's not good enough and I'm sure this isn't the last word on the matter.

"Since the NBA purchased the New Orleans Hornets, final responsibility for significant management decisions lies with the Commissioner’s Office in consultation with team chairman Jac Sperling.  All decisions are made on the basis of what is in the best interests of the Hornets.  In the case of the trade proposal that was made to the Hornets for Chris Paul, we decided, free from the influence of other NBA owners, that the team was better served with Chris in a Hornets uniform than by the outcome of the terms of that trade.”

Free of influence, eh? Obviously that's not true. Your owners ratted you out already Stern.
Posted on: December 9, 2011 10:29 am
Edited on: December 9, 2011 12:14 pm
 

Report: Teams to appeal Chris Paul trade

By Matt Moore  

Chris Paul (Getty)ESPN reports that the teams involved in the Chris Paul trade to the Lakers which was blocked on Thursday night by the league will appeal the decision to the league. 

If this is orchestrated by the league in the  face of overwhelming outrage from players, the media, and fans (though those in small markets are certainly divided on the issue), it would represent an acceptable way out.

The league can't reverse its own decision without sacrificing massive credibility (which they damaged in the first place with the veto/block), and it would allow the trade to go through after some element of adjustment (say, an additional pick from the Lakers sent to New Orleans). Despite the outrage from several owners, the precedent set by the block stands as something completely outrageous (for more on that, check out Ken Berger's scathing column).

Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports that past procedure for disputed trades involves an arbitrator, a process which could take some time, which the league doesn't have, especially with players threatening not to attend camp Friday. 

Paul is also considering further legal action against the league independently. It's an extremely messy situation in which the league seems to have underestimated the player and public reaction to, and something they need to resolve as quickly and quietly as possible.

According to the L.A. Times, the Lakers can't appeal to NBA office about Chris Paul trade block because the league considers the deal to have been nixed by the Hornets, not the NBA.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com