Posted on: December 9, 2011 10:29 am
Edited on: December 9, 2011 12:14 pm
By Matt Moore
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.
Posted on: December 9, 2011 1:44 am
Edited on: December 9, 2011 2:19 am
Posted by Ben Golliver.
NBA commissioner David Stern made the controversial decision on Thursday to step in and veto a trade that would have sent New Orleans Hornets point guard Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers. The outrage over Stern's alleged over-reaching was fast and furious online, and not just among media and fans.
Indiana Pacers forward Danny Granger took to Twitter to express his mildly profane and brutally honest thoughts.
"Due to the sabotaging of the LA/NO trade by David Stern," Granger wrote, "and following in the foosteps of my athlete brethern (sic) Metta World Peace and Chad Ochocinco, I'm changing my last name to 'Stern's Bi#&h', effective immediately."
Here's the visual proof. Pretty classic. Especially cool if you happen to be an acorn or squirrel enthusiast.
Granger later clarified that he was "obviously kidding."
As both the NBA's Board of Governors and the National Basketball Players Association ratified the league's new collective bargaining agreement on Thursday, Granger's straight talk might have opened him up to a possible fine.
Tension regarding Stern's treatment of players was a hot topic during the lockout. Television commentator Bryant Gumbel criticized Stern for carrying himself like a "modern plantation overseer" and NBPA attorney Jeffrey Kessler said that Stern treated the players "like plantation workers."
Posted on: December 9, 2011 12:49 am
Edited on: December 9, 2011 10:21 am
Posted by Ben Golliver.
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 CBSSports.com'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.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.
Posted on: December 9, 2011 12:01 am
Edited on: December 9, 2011 5:02 pm
By Matt Moore
Update Friday 4:30 p.m. EST
Paul arrived at practice Friday in a black jersey. So for now, he's playing the part of a professional. Lamar Odom arrived at Lakers camp 40 minutes late, spoke with GM Mitch Kupchak, then left. He did not practice with the team. Pau Gasol is not in attendance. We're sure that wasn't awkward at all.
Hours after a trade that would have sent Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers in a three-way trade with the Houston Rockets was blocked by the league, ESPN reports that Paul will not attend Hornets training camp Friday in New Orleans. Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports a Hornets offical said it would be "very surprising" if Paul was in attendance.
Paul is said to be "fuming" over the blocked trade and considering legal action. Failure to show up for camp will of course result in a fine, levied by both the team and the NBA. Which is convenient, since the NBA owns the team and that's the entire problem. Any fines levied would likely also be included in damages Paul would seek if he were to pursue legal action.
Similarly, Lakers forward Lamar Odom spoke with reporters and said he might skip the first day because "you don't want to be somewhere you're not wanted." The Lakers are obviously facing a serious situation with chemistry, with Pau Gasol described as "devastated" by the initial trade. The Lakers had a championship core and it now has to try and function despite the fact its management had deliberately opted to blow it up. And if you don't think Kobe Bryant was consulted before these moves, well, you're probably right since they didn't consult him on the coaching hire. But still. Going to be an awkward locker room for a while.
This situation threatens to undermind and detonate the fragile peace that had just been signed into form hours before as the league and owners ratified the new CBA. The players surrendered significant financial gains to protect their flexibility of movement. Now the league has simply circumvented that as well using its powers.
We thought the ugliness was over. It was looking like a season, how u. But now we're back to the same questions of fairness, morality, and individual player influence that dominated the discussion for five, locked-out months.
NBA training camp opens Friday.
Posted on: December 8, 2011 9:19 pm
Edited on: December 8, 2011 10:17 pm
Posted by Ben Golliver.
On the same day that reports indicated that the New Orleans Hornets had engineered a 3-team trade that would have sent All-Star point guard Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers, the trade, which also was to include the Houston Rockets, will not take place as expected.
Yahoo Sports reports that the NBA, which owns the Hornets and has veto power over all personnel moves, stepped in after prompting from unnamed NBA owners at Thursday's Board of Governors meeting.
The NBA has killed the proposed deal to send Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers, league sources tell Yahoo! Sports. The NBA has caved to pressure from owners that the appearance of this deal, on heels of lockout, had to be stopped, sources tell Y! Sports. "The deal is off," a source involved in the talks tells Y! Sports. "It's dead."Ken Berger of CBSSports.com confirmed that the blockbuster deal is now "dead" and that the NBA "pulled the plug" on the trade.
As word of the deal's rejection spread, Paul posted a one-word message on Twitter: "Wow."
ESPN.com reported that Paul was "fuming" about the blocked deal and "exploring [his] legal options" to protest the NBA's decision with the help of National Basketball Players Association executive director Billy Hunter.
NBA.com reported later Thursday that NBA spokesman Tim Frank issued the following statement: "Not true that owners killed the deal...League office declined to make the trade for basketball reasons."
Posted on: December 8, 2011 8:52 pm
Edited on: December 8, 2011 8:55 pm
Posted by EOB Staff.
On Thursday, reports surfaced that the Los Angeles Lakers, New Orleans Hornets and Houston Rockets agreed to a 3-team trade that sent Chris Paul to L.A., Pau Gasol to Houston, and Lamar Odom, Luis Scola, Kevin Martin and Goran Dragic to New Orleans. Assuming the trade is completed as reported once free agency opens on Friday, here's who won and lost.
Winners: Los Angeles Lakers
Just when you thought the championship window was closing, Chris Paul, the perfect backcourt partner for Kobe Bryant, enters to re-install Los Angeles as clear Western Conference favorites and eventually receive the face of the franchise baton from Bryant, ushering in the next era of Lakers basketball. Talk about reloading rather than rebuilding, the Lakers now have two multi-talented threats on the perimeter, two guards committed to two-way play and two of the most competitive players in the NBA. On top of that outside firepower, the Lakers retain promising center Andrew Bynum in the middle and could possibly look to flip him for Orlando Magic All-Star center Dwight Howard, as has been rumored recently. Even if step two of the plan falls through, the Lakers have the best top-3 players of any team in the league this season, Miami Heat included.
Losers: Houston Rockets
The Rockets get the second best player in this trade but it ultimately amounts to a solid but not spectacular upgrade, as Pau Gasol plugs in for Luis Scola. The Rockets also improve their cap position by attaining some extra flexibility but it comes at the cost of their major perimeter scoring three, a proven backup point guard and at least one draft pick. The cupboards around Gasol are fairly bare. While he’s an All-Star and a potential franchise guy, Houston is asking too much unless major additional moves are in the works. When push comes to shove, it’s better to have perennial All-Star than a host of minor trade assets but this won’t be a transformational move for Houston unless something major is coming in free agency.
Winners/Losers: New Orleans Hornets
It’s difficult to be declared a “winner” when you lose the popular face of your small-market franchise to a major-market monolith because he had all the leverage. But the Hornets did alright here. They won’t be contending for anything any time soon but they got a number of efficient, proven pieces, flexibility in Lamar Odom, and some draft pick building blocks. Considering how quickly the trade came together, it could have been a lot worse. Potential buyers of the Hornets, who are currently owned by the NBA, will have to swallow the fact that they no longer have a marquee star but, at the same time, they won’t need to deal with six months of trade rumors and free agency plans. The franchise is on steadier ground, even if it’s a step down from where it has been for the last few years.
Losers: Boston Celtics
The Celtics thought they had a legit chance at upgrading from Rajon Rondo to Paul and instead came home with Keyon Dooling as a party favor. Thanks for playing. The always-aggressive Danny Ainge will surely live to fight another day.
Losers: New York Knicks
Landing Tyson Chandler, even if they have to over-pay, would help soften the blow of watching Los Angeles pilfer Paul. Still, CP3 was the true apple of the Big Apple’s eye and the Knicks must now head back to the drawing board.Winner: Devan Ebanks
Someone is about to get seriously paid for his No. 3 jersey. CP7 just doesn't have quite the same ring to it.
Loser: Derek Fisher
Time was running out for Fisher as the head man of the Lakers to start with, but now it's officially over. He instantly becomes a backup and someone that's looking at 15 minutes a game. Actually, he might say that he's a winner...
Winner: Mike Brown
He gets to start basically fresh with the Lakers. No leftovers of the triangle, no inherited drama between Gasol and Kobe. He can install whatever kind of system he wants and now has Chris Freaking Paul to run it. There might be a bit more pressure on him now with this studly looking team, but he's the head coach of the Lakers. That's to be expected.
Loser: Kevin Martin
Sometime, someone will have to explain to us why exactly it is that Kevin Martin can never be traded to a contender. He's hyper-efficient, he's capable, he plays hard, he's an offensive juggernaut when he gets rolling, and yet, he winds up on the New Orleans Island of Misfit Toys.
Winner: Chris Paul
He gets to go somewhere he wants, play with Kobe Bryant and instantly be on a team that can win a championship. He's never had that before. He doesn't have to spend a lame duck season in New Orleans, doesn't have to answer constant questions about where he might be traded and moves right into forum blue and gold right in time for training camp.
Loser: Pau Gasol
Do you realize a year ago, Pau Gasol was discussed as potentially the best big man in the NBA? That he was a near-MVP candidate for the first two months of last season? And today he's the Rockets desperation project, a biscuit thrown in by the Lakers to entice the Rockets into giving two B+ players to New Orleans. Houston has a new coach, an incomplete roster, and a desperate front office. But we do hear the symphony, which Gasol loves, is nice there. So he's got that going for him.
Winner: Kobe Bryant
Uh... winnner. The guy who has pouted his way through even championship seasons over frustrations with Pau Gasol's ice cream interior gets the best point guard in the NBA and one of the truly most brutally win-obsessed players in the NBA. Paul is the only player who can match Bryant's intensity... and his brilliance. He will never be left scowling from being open again. Kobe rides into the sunset in glory.
Winner: Andrew Bynum
For now: Bynum gets the best pick-and-roll point guard in the league (with apologies to Steve Nash) to throw him alley-oops. He gets a larger share of the offense and now is a member of the "Big 3" in L.A.. He's in a great position... and he might get traded to Orlando for Dwight Howard. So this could be the best thing that ever happened to his career, or the worst thing possible.
Winner: Luis Scola
The food is GREAT in New Orleans. The end.
Loser: Lamar Odom
The reality television opportunities aren't so great in New Orleans. He seemed to genuinely love the Hollywood stage. Welcome to a different life.
Posted on: December 8, 2011 7:28 pm
By Matt Moore
It's good to be on top.
The Los Angeles Lakers have agreed to a deal to acquire Chris Paul from the New Orleans Hornets in a three-way deal with the Houston Rockets. Los Angeles trades Lamar Odom to New Orleans and Pau Gasol to Houston, while the Rockets send Luis Scola and Kevin Martin to New Orleans.
The Lakers missed the NBA Finals by two rounds last year, getting swept by the Dallas Mavericks. They watched Chris Paul destroy them in the first round, showing some of their weakness. So they went out and got him. They have acquired the best point guard in the NBA, their best point guard since Magic Johnson, and gotten a premier All-Star in his prime to pair with Kobe Bryant on his way towards the sunset.
The Lakers are clearly not done, and will continue to pursue a deal to trade Andrew Bynum to the Orlando Magic to bring Dwight Howard and create their own big three, arguably a better one than the one in Miami. It's an arms race in the NBA, and the Lakers have the biggest budget and most capital to use. And so they have responded to all this Knicks-Heat-Chicago nonsense with their own move, after helping kickstart the race three years ago by acquiring Pau Gasol from Memphis. They're one move away from checkmate.
In the interim, the team did lose a lot of talent. Pau Gasol has flirted with "best big man in the game" for the past three seasons prior to last spring's meltdown. Lamar Odom is a hyper-athletic, versatile veteran who has been a part of three Finals teams and two championships. Neither on the right side of 30, but both still have a lot of value left.
And yet, the takeback is staggering. CP3, in his prime, to provide Kobe Bryant with the clutch guard he's never had. Even in losing their frontcourt, leaving them with a gaping hole at power forward, and even without a trade for Howard, the Lakers now feature Chris Paul able to lob to Andrew Bynum and kick to Kobe Bryant. And for Paul, whose knees are a question mark, to have Bryant to handle the ball and take the load off, he may have extended his career by four seasons.
For Bryant, it may be a rough transition giving the ball up. But it also means no more wondering about his teammates. There will be no outraged glares at Paul. He won't blow defensive assignments. He won't miss Bryant when he's open. Instead, if Bryant is open for a half-second inside, on the wing, or at half-court, Paul will find him. Bynum also comes away big in this deal. He's never had a guard to work with his insane athleticism. Bynum on the pick and roll, rolling to the basket for an alley-oop? It's Paul, the master of the alley-oop, dishing it now.
Do the Lakers have holes now? Absolutely. Starting with power forward, the length they've enjoyed inside to disrupt passing lanes and tip-in misses is gone, even with Bynum still in place. They've lost a perennial Sixth Man of the Year candidate, and they're just as weak at backup center as ever. They've lost a lot of scoring, a lot of rebounds, a lot of defense. But they gained one of the top five players in the league and have positioned themselves expertly to add a second if they can lean on the Magic enough. With or without Howard, if you pull a deal to get the best player in the league at his position (Derrick Rose is not a point guard, he's a Derrick Rose), you get an A.
Posted on: December 8, 2011 7:28 pm
Edited on: December 8, 2011 7:35 pm
Posted by Royce Young
It was inevitable. Chris Paul wasn't going to start the 2012-13 season in New Orleans. The only question there was how much of the 2011-12 season he'd spend there.
The answer came late on Thursday, just a few hours before training camp and free agency officially opens: Chris Paul, pending a deal going through, will be a Los Angeles Laker.
Whoa. I mean, whoa.
The Hornets had to act quickly and swiftly in order to maximize the return on their franchise guy. The longer Dell Demps waited, the lower the asking price he'd have to slap on CP3.
So, what do they get in exchange for the guy that been been their face for the past six seasons? Is it anything close to equaling Paul's value?
Here's the breakdown: Chris Paul goes to L.A. with Lamar Odom, Kevin Martin, Goran Dragic and Luis Scola going to New Orleans. With a pick getting tossed in on the back-end of it (Knicks 2012 first-rounder).
So really, the Hornets did pretty well. Not just well, actually. As good as they probably could possibly do. Chris Paul is a more valuable player than Carmelo Anthony, but in comparing this trade to that trade, the Hornets did far better than the Nuggets did. The Hornets get Odom, a player with a ton of trade value that they can flip for a young talent and a draft pick from Houston to help rebuild with. Or deal Martin and Scola as well to blow it all up and get a heap of talent and picks. Scola's not young at 31 and Martin is 28.
But here's the thing: If the Hornets wanted, they could just stick with this group for this season and probably make a postseason run. Dragic isn't the best point guard in the world, but he's certainly serviceable. And besides, Odom might be playing that more than anyone else in the end, if they so choose. Scola is a talented 4 and Martin is the posterboy for efficient scoring.
Dragic, Martin, Trevor Ariza (or Odom), Scola and Emeka Okafor. With Odom (or Ariza) off the bench. That's a pretty good group of six, no? This team could conceivably be a playoff contender for the next two seasons and then figure out where to go from there after that when they presumably have new ownership.
Considering the circumstances, it's hard to imagine how the Hornets could've done better outside of baiting the Clippers into giving them Eric Gordon and that unprotected pick from Minnesota. And even still, New Orleans has options right now. Lots of them. They can stick with the current roster, maintain a level of flexibility (Martin expires in 2013, Scola in 2014 and Odom after this season), and look to rebuild in the coming years.
Replacing a player like Chris Paul is pretty much impossible. He's meant everything to your franchise and taken you to unseen levels of success. But he wasn't staying. And the team wasn't going anywhere this year with him anyway. Demps did the wise thing and cut his losses. It's just a matter of how well he did and in this case, I'd say his return is just about as good as it could be.