The Chris Paul to the Lakers deal is now dead, vetoed by the league office.
So this is what happens when 29 owners each own 1/29th of one of the NBA’s 30 teams? This is just nuts.
Apparently, if enough of those owners are dead set against the Hornets trading their best player, they have the right to veto it. Who knew?
And in a word: Wow.
This is such uncharted territory, it is hard to fathom what comes next. Apparently, all the players who were supposed to have been in the trade have been told to report to their (original) teams for the start of training camp Friday, and where this thing goes from here is anyone’s guess.
Do the Lakers sue? Does Paul sue? Do the Rockets raise a stink? Do the Celtics get back into the hunt? And if they do, would a subsequent Paul trade get vetoed, too?
And what about the reverse domino effect? If Paul was the main domino in everybody’s revamping plans, how will the killing of this deal impact other teams?
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, New Orleans GM Dell Demps is “disconsolate” over this stunning, heavy-handed move by the commissioner’s office. The Hornets appeared to be making out quite well, getting Luis Scola, Kevin Martin, Lamar Odom, Goran Dragic and a No. 1 pick.
From Wojnarowski’s story:
“Some owners pushed Stern to demand the trade be nullified, and the Hornets be made to keep Paul on the roster for the foreseeable future, sources said. A chorus of owners were irate with the belief that the five-month lockout had happened largely to stop big-market teams from leveraging small-market teams for star players pending free agency.”
Too damn bizarre.
And then there is this: In talking with folks around the league, there is a school of thought that the deal was killed because there was a Dwight Howard-to-L.A. deal in the works, too, and this was a pre-emptive measure to disrupt that trade from going down. Chris Broussard of ESPN reported on TV that said Paul, a member of the union’s executive committee, was speaking with union director Billy Hunter about his legal options
Lamar Odom told Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times he was in “total disbelief” over the developments.
“I don’t know what to do for the Lakers. I’m even weirded out by the league doing what they did. I don’t know what to do.” Odom said he thought it was “a lie” when he was first told about the trade to New Orleans. “And then it doesn’t go through,” Odom said. “Oh, lord. I don’t know what I’m going to do. I’ll pray about it.”
We’ll learn more tomorrow, and the commissioner certainly has some explaining to do. Saying through a spokesman that it was done for “basketball reasons” just doesn’t cut it.
David? We’re waiting.