- By Jason Dougas Lewis
- In Basketball
Lakers and Clippers offer great deals for Chris Paul, but commissioner surprisingly declines both.
Chris Paul, right, and Kobe Bryant are both unhappy right now because of recent moves in the NBA. Paul may take legal action.
Photo by Jeff Lewis
A trade for Chris Paul fell through because the Clippers smartly would not give up Eric Gordon. Photo by Jason Lewis
Article originally published by the Los Angeles Sentinel. www.lasentinel.net
By Jason Lewis
Sentinel Sports Editor (2010-2013)
If the NBA was trying to steal headlines away from the NFL, which is very rare, they accomplished their mission with recent moves, or lack their of.
The story continues to evolve, but at press time, All-Star point guard Chris Paul is still a New Orleans Hornet, and he is still unhappy.
From the looks of it, Commissioner David Stern might as well have said that Paul is off limits, because that would have saved the front offices of the Lakers, Clippers, and Hornets a lot of trouble.
Both the Lakers and Clippers offered more than they should have for Paul, but Stern turned down both deals, which caused a major rift in both organizations. It was pretty awkward when Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol walked into Lakers headquarters after a deal was agreed upon for them to be shipped out.
Gasol has taken the high road, and is viewing it as business as usual, but Odom could not get over it, so he demanded to be traded. If Stern had let teams know that Paul was nearly untradable, then the Lakers may not have been forced to dump Odom for next to nothing. A late first round draft pick from the Dallas Mavericks does not hold much value.
One theory is that the Lakers have another deal in the works, using the draft pick and the $8.9 million trade exception that they received from the Mavericks to possibly make another big trade.
The Lakers better have some type of plan, because as of right now, they lost one of their big men, and Kobe Bryant is not happy about it at all.
Landing Orlando Center Dwight Howard is on their radar, but there has been much debate whether on not he is worth the Magic’s asking price. Which would be Gasol and Bynum.
Many people in the media and fans think that the Lakers should make that deal right now, but many do not believe that the Lakers would be better this year with Howard instead of Gasol, Bynum, and Odom.
Howard is a great player, but he is not better than all three of those players combined. The Lakers have been great over the past four years because of all the big bodies that they had. Howard cannot possibly make up for all of that lack of size.
It may have been a blessing that the Lakers trade for Paul did not go through, because the theory is that you do not trade big for small. Paul is the flashy name, but bad knees and the Lakers having a hole in the middle would be major issues.
It may also be in the Clippers best interest that the Paul trade did not go through, because Stern was asking for way too much. The major pieces in that deal were a high first round draft pick, Eric Gordon, and Eric Bledsoe. Giving up one of those three would have been understandable. Giving up two out of the three would have been a bit much. But Stern asking for all three shows that he does not have much interest in moving Paul. That is just too much.
Sources say that Stern does not want to trade Paul because there are buyers lined up to purchase the Hornets this year, and those owners want to be able to control what type of deal that they can get for Paul. Stern believes that the Hornets are worth more with Paul still on the roster.
Well he should have let that be known to teams trying to trade for him so that no team would destroy their roster with trade rumors.
Stern voiding trades where the Hornets would come out on top makes the whole thing look like a total farce. Having owners claim that the Lakers landing Paul would be a disservice to smaller market teams is just silly, especially from an owner like Mark Cuban, who had his own general manager seek out a trade for Paul.
The owners colluded to stop the Lakers from making a blockbuster trade simply because they did not want to compete with a line up that consisted of Bryant, Paul, and Bynum, and potentially Howard in place of Bynum.
The Hornets could have been set up nicely if either the Lakers or Clippers deal was accepted, so there appears to be something that Stern is hiding. Whatever Stern is up too, look for Paul and the NBA player’s union to take legal action for blocking his chance to determine where he plays. Paul can leave as a free agent after this season, but if he leaves without a sign a trade deal, it could cost him an estimated $26 million in salary.
Stern is making a mockery of the right now.