December 08, 2011

All-Star Shake-up.: Pending approval and physicals, a three-way trade is underway in the NBA that would send Chris Paul to the Lakers, Pau Gasol to the Houston Rockets, and Luis Scola, Kevin Martin, Lamar Odom-Kardashian and Goran Dragic to New Orleans.

posted by Ufez Jones to basketball at 07:59 PM - 14 comments

Or not It would seem approval is not forthcoming

posted by tommybiden at 09:41 PM on December 08, 2011

This is absolutely crazy. I hate the Lakers but they got screwed here. I'm sure everyone involved in this trade is really interested in playing hard for the teams that just traded them away. I guess this is why leagues don't take over teams very often. Do the Lakers have any lawsuit possibilities here? This seems like the definition of collusion.

So, do the Hornets/NBA just refuse to trade Paul at all now? I doubt they'll get a better haul than the one they just broke up.

On edit: I guess I'd take Rondo/Green too.

posted by tron7 at 09:50 PM on December 08, 2011

A couple observations mixed in with what I'm reading on my twitter feed & other media:

I'm not sure if Stern made the right call here, but the NBA did just finish a lockout, which a big part of was the cry for "competitive balance." That elite players could still essentially force their way onto big market teams at will could be perceived as "nothing has really changed here." There's probably an argument to be made that such a concern is irrelevant, and it may be. All I'm saying is that a deal like this would expose what a complete farce that lock out was.

Plus, I think the joke of a deal LA-MEM did for the Lakers to get Pau wasn't forgotten by those other gm/owners; that really did screw over competitive balance for a few years. When you add to that the fact that there is a new batch of owners (many small market teams) who just invested a TON of money to buy their team, this might just be the 1st signal that the business of the NBA is changing. Again, it might not be right, but maybe the ability of players to dictate a lot of the league really will diminish.

posted by brainofdtrain at 11:11 PM on December 08, 2011

According to Dan Gilbert, some of what I noted was indeed on the owners minds. Interested to hear the Spofite's reaction to his arguments.

posted by brainofdtrain at 12:36 AM on December 09, 2011

I just don't get what the owners think is going to happen if the Hornets don't trade Paul. Paul gets to decide if he wants to sign an extension, and he isn't going to sign one for the small-market teams. At this point, the Hornets can trade him to someplace he wants to be or get nothing for him when he enters free agency.

posted by bperk at 06:58 AM on December 09, 2011

...this might just be the 1st signal that the business of the NBA is changing

The lockout and subsequent agreement that the players OK'd just served to embolden the owners. This move is a good indication that the owners are going to take a more aggressive approach to future big trades to big-market teams. That the players can go anywhere they want to the detriment of small-market teams is something the owners are apparently going to start taking seriously. If not, why the lockout?

So the owners will most likely keep this type of thing up. A good example that the players lost more than money in the new agreement.

posted by roberts at 07:02 AM on December 09, 2011

I don't see what the league can do to stop players from using free agency (or impending free agency) to go where they want to go. That's what free means.

The league's in a rough spot now that it's rejected the Paul trade. If he ends up in, say, New York, Lakers fans would have a legitimate beef that the league interference has hurt their team. Can Paul even be dealt now at all? They need a new owner stat.

posted by rcade at 07:30 AM on December 09, 2011

I'm a fan of a small market team, but think the owners made this mess. With the latest CBA, a player's current team can offer them more than anyone else when they become a free agent.

On paper this is good for small market teams, but if the player wants to leave, it's in the player's best interest to do what Paul is trying to do, get traded to the team you'd rather have offer you the max contract.

Unless if the NBA just plans on vetoing every trade, this is going to be a huge issue.

posted by drezdn at 08:32 AM on December 09, 2011

I am not sure this would have been a great trade for the Lakers in any event, so not sure why the league would veto it for competitive reasons. This is really all about the optics and fan perception coming out of the lockout.

Had the trade gone through, I think the Lakers would have been very hard-pressed to sign Howard with Kobe and Paul on the books (or, if so, would be in one of those three-stars-and-a-lot-of-roster-filler situations). And, absent Howard, this would leave the Lakers with a really suspect front court. Not sure heavily relying on Andrew Bynum, with the injury history and his seeming lack of maturity, would be such a great idea.

posted by holden at 09:40 AM on December 09, 2011

Is there a reason this trade was announced before the league signed off on it? Seems like a really dumb way to do things.

posted by rcade at 10:21 AM on December 09, 2011

Simmons take is pretty much the same as mine.

That Gilbert letter is ridiculous. He's writing that as the owner of the Cavs, not the part owner of the Hornets. It doesn't even mention the Hornet's situation throughout the entire letter. Shouldn't the Hornet's future be the most important thing for the owners of the Hornets? In this case it's not because the 1/29th owners of the Hornets are full owners of their other teams. My favorite part was when Gilbert bitched about not getting enough luxury tax money and then bitched about the Lakers maybe getting Dwight Howard. I'm sure a team with Paul, Kobe, Howard wouldn't pay luxury tax. It's not about the money it's about owners of teams other than the Lakers not wanting the Lakers to be good.

This is a hot mess for the Hornets franchise. You can't trade Paul now so you just waste another year being the tenth best team in the West, getting a mediocre draft pick, and then losing Paul and getting absolutely nothing in return. Free agents? Sorry, after this debacle no free agent that isn't massively overpaid isn't coming to New Orleans until there's new ownership. So what's this franchise worth with no Chris Paul, nothing in return for Paul, and no free agents willing to come there? They are going to have to end up selling the franchise for fifty cents on the dollar. Congratulations owners, you have succesfully cut off your nose to spite your face.

posted by tron7 at 10:57 AM on December 09, 2011

Is there a reason this trade was announced before the league signed off on it? Seems like a really dumb way to do things.

From the Houston Chronicle:

Rockets general manager Daryl Morey and the Lakers' Mitch Kupchak spent countless hours hammering out the deal, as they and GMs around the league had been given the clear understanding that Demps was fully authorized to do his job with the only stipulation that he not exceed the luxury tax line. They were also never told that they had to make a deal that would appeal not only to the teams involved, but to the commissioner. While Stern is in no way qualified to judge the quality of players or trades, he ought to be able to do better than this as commissioner.

posted by tron7 at 11:59 AM on December 09, 2011

This to me just indicates how much trouble is in store for the NBA unless they adopt an NFL style of revenue sharing. It is going to take a combination of free agency, salary cap, and revenue sharing to develop a league with any kind of legitimate parity. Basketball is basically becoming a few all star teams playing against a non competitive larger group of substandard teams in a farce of a season.

The players and the fans will suffer as the regular season becomes more meaningless aside from the few all star match ups which will only serve as a precursor for the purpose of handicapping the playoff seeds.

While some have seen the NFL owner's business practices as collusion, their system is really what works in the best interest of the large and small market teams, fans and game in general and that translates to the best possible market for professional players. I never understood why NBA players don't seem to realize that unrestricted free agency or free agent collusion like what happened in Miami, eliminates job opportunities and lowers salaries for all but the superstar players in the long run. Then best thing for all parties is a competitive league in which any team can win regardless of the size of their market. Finding a way toward a better system is in everybody's best interest.

With a close to 50/50 split in total revenue between the players and ownership, the salary cap issue is mitigated because as revenue rises with a competitive balance, the cap would have to also. This really should not be that hard to figure out. The owners and players are partners. If anything the owners should be upset with Stern for creating an even more lopsided and biased playing field.

posted by Atheist at 01:58 PM on December 09, 2011

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.