Lakers Pull Out of Chris Paul Deal, Trade Odom to Dallas Instead
The first question in all of this, obviously, is: will the Kardashians be bringing Hollywood with them to Texas?
The second, and most, important question: is there any way that Dwight Howard is not a Los Angeles Laker by the end of December? Not likely.
We now know that Chris Paul will not be in LA this year, unless he’s tossing alley oops to Blake Griffin for Donald Sterling’s team, after the Lakers pulled out of a deal for CP3 last night. Instead, the Lakers reversed course and traded Lamar Odom to the Dallas Mavericks for a portion the Mavs’ trade exception (approximately $13 million) and a 2012 first round pick. Dallas acquired the trade exception as part of the three-team trade that landed Tyson Chandler in New York.
The original three-team deal that was vetoed by the NBA would have sent Paul to the Lakers, Odom, Luis Scola, Kevin Martin and Gorgan Dragic (last three from the Houston Rockets) to New Orleans, and Pau Gasol to the Rockets.
For the Lakers, the trade exception allows them to absorb a large contract if they so choose to set their sights on one Dwight Howard. Dwight to LA was always the Lake Show’s first and best option over CP3 to LA, and it now seems like a definite possibility.
For the New Orleans Hornets, eternal damnation. The franchise goes from a potential deal that would have netted them four productive players they could have kept and challenged for a playoff spot, or flipped for younger players and/or draft picks. Now, they’ll most likely lose the best player in franchise history for absolutely nothing in July, all because no team will have much incentive to deal with a meddling commissioner who apparently has the authority to decide on trades for the superstar guard.
The Rockets see their three-year plan of acquiring low-cost yet efficient assets in the hopes of making a big move for a superstar, or at least a world-class All-Star. They had that in Gasol. The trade also would have freed up cap space to throw a max offer at free agent center Nene.
Chris Paul possibly loses out on the chance to sign an ultimate max contract with whatever team he’s playing on next year. The new CBA calls for a six-month waiting period from the time of a trade in order for a player to be eligible to sign a 5-year/$100 million deal with his new team.
Ultimately, though, the NBA loses big on this mess. In blocking a Chris Paul trade to LA (that would have made the Lakers worse and Hornets better, by most accounts), the NBA loses a ton of credibility in the eyes of fans and observers while making it more possible that the Lakers get much better with Howard in the middle, and spitting in the face of their “competitive balance” pledge in the process.