The Chris Paul-to-Lakers trade is dead

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.

Or as Paul said on Twitter: 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.



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  4. Gene says

    NBA should sell the team all ready in NO, below value if need be. This was a great trade for all parties involved.. perhaps not the lakers unless they were planning on getting dwight or another big.
    Last year there was a stink by certain owners at the trade deadline, and now Stern does this.

  5. LM Knicks fan 4 life says

    What da hell was my first thought then i realized he saved basketball. Please dont be mistaken with my name or my next comments iam being totally objective while trying to be funny. Before i get into my expanation of my secondary statement i must say that i always new sterns was a closet knicks fan. Now before you go crazy hear me out. First he blocked the trade to the Lakers because of his small market mind (pun intended) Paul can not go to a big market team via trade (NYK LAL LAC MIAMI HEAT CHI BULLS BOSTON) thats if he did it for that intention or because he is a genius. Hold up keep reading it gets better. As i always suspected he is a Knicks fan at heart. Second Paul has stated that he will sign with anybody that has Tyson Chandler and according to the buzz in the street he is probably gonna be a Knick hence no small market team is in his scope at the moment. Bad thing is i dont see how the Knicks can sign cp3 next yr but Dolan is working miracles daily if you ask me. Third cp3 stated that he has no intention with signing with anybody but a big market team. Therfore the only place he will sign is to lets say the knicks nets clips lakers heat (if he stays consistent) so hears the genius he either stays with his current team or goes to a big market get paid much much less because they are locking in deals as we speak or sign with another small market team unless the clips dont go to crazy and leave themselves an out to get Paul.There is even more to his genius and the biggest sticking point to me in his genius and yes i said genius would you really like to watch basketball if the only team winning are the lakers because that is what will happen. Paul and eventually Howard on any team with just role players not to mention Kobe will win every year for a long time. One they are still young two they are the best at there respective positions (if you exclude pure scoring Rose but as a true pg Paul is the best) but you also lock them in for another five years. Thank you Sterns for keeping the nba competitive. Go NYK

  6. ignarus says

    So… thinking about this seriously, how is this NOT collusion between the owners to fix the trade market for a special player? By not allowing the GM to trade him, they’re making different rules for different players.

    How did the league’s last collusion lawsuit go?

    The league office should not be deciding where players go. This is extremely shady and quite possibly illegal.

  7. Dan says

    Sheridan..get your facts straight. The lakers next move was for a PF. Not howard who even ric bucher admitted wasn’t currently on the trade block. Check out kevin ding for more accurate details

  8. Steve says

    I agree with the exec in Waj’s story that said that Stern was “drunk with power.” It is time for the owners to fire Stern. It is time for him to go.

  9. Dan says

    Orlando is not trading dwight. And certainly won’t trade for the injury prone immature punk bynum. Write about something else sheridan. Quit being part of the espn machine with suggesting howard wants out

  10. will says

    I am a huge NBA fan, but all this greed displayed by owners in the lockout and now this? simply blocking a trade because they can? I probably will drop my league pass membership and stop watching the NBA. The wealthy in this country are destroying the u.s. and now they are messing with our sports too? I hope Chris Paul and the Lakers are pursuing all legal options. David stern has now CEMENTED his legacy as one of the WORST commissioners ever. Lakers nation is pissed and rightfully so and new Orleans got great talent back. This is appalling . Good bye NBA. Hello college ball!

    • kantankruz says

      Fine, go join Michael Moore and all the other D-Bag hippies @ The Occupy picket lines. You will end up finding that this was the owners blocking this because they are sick of the f’n Lakers getting money for jam.

    • derrick says

      NBA is fixed just like boxing; David Stern can not explain this. I think the hornets got the better deal.I think David Stern has his favorite and his favorite is the knicks; he want CP3 to stay with the hornets this year, in this way the Knicks will have a shot at him next year. Right now, I am about to stop watching the NBA this stinks real bad.

  11. Louis Brown says

    I take that back…

    Modern Sports History.

    Of course there were other far more important things. Like the collusion to keep African Americans out of sports, Black Sox scandal, ….

    Again I apologize.

    But there is no doubt there is no legal precedence and this is a MAJOR MAJOR MAJOR issue.

    • says

      The owners and players talked for 15 hours a day for weeks and yet somehow they never touched on what to do in case the Hornets wanted to make a trade.

      Now Stern is flying by the seat of his pants in a very scary and unprecedented way.

  12. Louis Brown says

    Chris you are totally barking up the right tree here. Please call this what this is directly. The biggest display of corruption, collusion, and conflict of interest in sports history.

    • Gregel says

      I’m confused. Do the owners own the Hornets? Yes. Does Stern have the right to block a trade in “the best interests of the league”? Yes. Yes, he does.

      Chris Paul is not a free agent…yet. He can try and sue all he wants, but it will only embarrass him and the NBA Player’s Association. Chris Paul agreed to a $68 million dollar contract with the Hornets in 2009. A contract one that still has one year and a second year (which he can opt out of) that will pay him $16.3 million (pro-rated this year because of the lockout) and $17.7 million as a player option if he did not opt out. None of his rights have been tampered with. Now, if the league blocked him SIGHING as a free agent, well that would be something else.

      If Paul doesn’t report for work he’s in breach of contract. He can either then be sued by the league or find the entire contract ruled void AND he may not be able to sign a contract with another team (as dictated by the NBA and Player’s collective bargaining agreement).

      Paul is only 26-years-old. He’s insulting his remaining fans in New Orleans by looking like the next LeBron looking to get out of town. Boy, that’s quite a two-face move from the poster boy for the Katrina-suffering city isn’t it?

      • William says

        I thought I was the only one who thought that!

        There’s nothing wring with the Hornets’ owners wanting to keep their best player. One of the points of the CBA was to have competitive balance. What would the NBA (or David Stern) have looked like if he just let the Lakers do what the Heat did.

        It is a bit anti-Lakers, but the only reason any other team would have done that was to show their fans that they’re not in the market to be a small franchise. NO run the risk of losing him for nothing next summer but that’s their problem. Paul is professional guy, so it won’t trouble him.

        I feel a bit for players like Gasol and Odom, but just get on with it. After all that happened this summer, we don’t need any more whining from players for a while.

      • derrick says

        The hornets are going to be shit out of luck if the wait until CP3 become a free agent. The will be like Cleveland were when king James left; why settle for nothing when you can get something right now for him. I still think something stink about this and David Stern have to explain this.He is the worse ever, NBA definitely will lose lots of viewers

  13. Matthew says

    It was an awful trade. It shouldn’t have been made public until the crack that the hornets GM was snorting wore off.

    • dallas the dog says

      how is this an awful trade? NO was going to lose Paul, had a chance to completely remake their front line, get a good guard, AND a number one pick? tell me, where else could they get this good of a deal? nowhere, that’s where. the laker team with paul and, possibly, howard, would have boosted their viewership and profits. instead, a bunch of jealous, short-sighted owners, and a spineless commissioner kill a deal that was in the best interest of all the parties involved simply because they can’t, and never will, be able to compete with one of the only true class organizations in the league and all of sports. hate all you want, but this is nothing but laker envy, pure and simple.

      • says

        Yep, this was a great trade for everyone but the Lakers! (unless Dwight was coming next)

        Houston freed up cap room to offer Nene a max deal (recovering from the loss in Yao in just one year).

        New Orleans picked up a very nice collection of players for a guy who was leaving anyway.

        Stern just screwed the Hornets much worst than he did the Lakers.

        • dallas the dog says

          even IF they don’t get howard, it still would have been a very good deal for the lakers because they still have bynum, and paul would make kobe a better player and extend his career. this is little more than a commissioner past his time drunk with power being driven by a bunch of owners who CAN’T run a team throwing a hissy fit at the one owner who CAN. if stern had been commissioner of baseball in the 1920’s, there wouldn’t have been the yankee dynasty. would baseball have been better or worse for that?

          this is a TERRIBLE move by the league, simply awful, and it should be reversed ASAP.

        • ignarus says

          yeah, he’s basically forcing them to play hardball with CP3 — resign with us or sign elsewhere for tens of millions less.

          it pretty much guarantees that CP3 is leaving NO as a free agent. there’s no way he stays on that team after this. he’ll probably find out who blocked the deal and he’ll make damn sure he doesn’t sign with one of those teams.

          stern’s probably going to say the hornets didn’t get enough back in the deal or some bullshit like that, but it’s remarkably transparent that the teams don’t want the Hornets engaging in a win-win trade that helps the rebuild while making the team who gets Paul better.

      • Matthew says

        I take it back. It would have been a great trade for New Orleans if their goal was to win 35 – 40 games (in an 82-game season) each year, possibly make the 7th or 8th seed in the playoffs and then get swept out in the first round. Think about what this trade would have meant:

        * The Hornets would have been maxed out in regards to the salary cap. Therefore, they would have needed to fill out their roster with minimum salary players.
        * The Hornets would have taken on another bad long-term contract in Scola. While the guy is decent, he isn’t worth roughly $10M a year over the next 4 years. Yes, I know there are going to be some bad signings out there in the near future due to teams needing to spend 85% of the salary cap, but New Orleans should focus on being closer to the floor than the max and rebuilding.
        * The Hornets didn’t move their worst contract, Okafor, in this deal. He’s owed, gulp, almost $40M over the next 3 years.
        * The best player in the deal, Martin, has average 65 games played per season over the past 6. I like to call him Mr. Glass. How well do you think this guy is going to hold up this year when teams are consistently playing 4 games in 6 days? It wouldn’t surprise me if he missed 20 games this year. While he’s only signed for 2 more seasons, he’s also making over $12M per season.
        * Odom. Do I even need to explain this one? Smoking some pot after getting traded from a championship caliber team to New Orleans is probably sounding pretty good. Bottom line – he woldn’t have been happy.

        The Hornets should have be focused on rebuilding, not getting good, but not great players back. I know you’re never going to get equal value back when you trade a superstar, but if they could have gotten curry or gordon for him, wouldn’t that have been a better road to go down? Couple that with draft picks (the Clippers pick they were going to throw in was Minny’s for next year and that team should be terrible once again this year) and the riddance of bad contracts (Okafor mainly) would have put New Orleans in an excellent position heading into next year’s free agency pool, which is going to be much better.

        And before you say that the Clippers or Warriors wouldn’t have traded either of those guys, whatever you read from “sources” or “reports” is posturing. Each team’s job is to make the best possible deal, so those teams aren’t going to call up Demps and offer Gordon or Curry within their first breath.

    • dallas the dog says

      and how is this in the best interests of the league and NO when paul walks at the end of the season and they get NOTHING in return?

  14. Henry says

    I know the owners have part ownership in a way of the league-owned Hornets, but doesn’t this decision have some sort of conflict of interest amongst the owners, seems like way too much silliness going on behind closed doors. This is setting up some very strange precedent.

  15. says

    I feel like Stern is putting NBA fans through “Survivor”, putting them through challenge after challenge to see which ones last the longest.

  16. derrick says

    All they can do is make this right by reversing this stupid decision. Me as a long time fan of the NBA, this can of stuff just make you say f the NBA. The Hornets will not get a better deal than this one, they can not explain this.

  17. derrick says

    David Stern is not looking out for the best interest of the sport. The NBA is going to fade away soon as long as David Stern have a say into things.


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