NBA Roundtable

Vetoed – Major Trade: CP3 To LA, Pau To Houston, Who To New Orleans??

In Trade Talk on December 9, 2011 at 12:46 am

Update: NBA, owners of New Orleans Hornets, have vetoed this deal on basketball grounds.

Trade Details

Los Angeles sends out: Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom
Los Angeles receives: Chris Paul

Houston sends out: Luis Scola, Kevin Martin, Goran Dragic and a #1 pick.
Houston receives: Pau Gasol

New Orleans sends out: Chris Paul
New Orleans receives: Lamar Odom, Luis Scola, Kevin Martin, Goran Dragic and a future Rockets #1.

The Hornets will also have to rescind their rights to David West to create enough cap space to make this deal work.


Adrian Wojnarowski breaks the story on twitter (too many individual twitter posts to link too)

The Hornets are near a deal to send Chris Paul to the Lakers for Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom, league source tells Y! Sports.

The Hornets have started to inform teams that they’re sending Chris Paul to the Lakers for Bynum and Odom, league sources tell Y! Sports.

Correction: The proposed deal to the Lakers is Chris Paul for Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom, source says.

Hornets working to finalize details on 3-team deal to send Chris Paul to Lakers, Gasol to Rockets and Odom, KMart, Scola to NO, sources say.

Says a front office executive in the 3-team talks to send Chris Paul to Lakers: “We have not yet finalized, but we are close…”

A deal has been reached in principle to send Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers, an executive in the three-team talks tells Yahoo! Sports.

Besides Luis Scola, Kevin Martin, Lamar Odom and Goran Dragic, Hornets will also receive a draft pick from Houston, source says.

Houston’s agreed to send a 2012 first-round pick — previously obtained from the Knicks — to New Orleans as part of package, source says

Update: Wojnarowski continues

NBA owners have pushed commissioner David Stern to kill the deal sending Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers, sources tell Y! Sports.

Owners were irate in Board of Governors meeting with Stern, livid that the league-owned Hornets were allowed to make Paul deal, sources say.

The NBA has killed the proposed deal to send Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers, league sources tell Yahoo! Sports.

The NBA has caved to pressure from owners that the appearance of this deal, on heels of lockout, had to be stopped, sources tell Y! Sports.

Wojnaroski adding

New Orleans GM Dell Demps is “disconsolate” over this stunning, heavy-handed move from the commissioner’s office, source tells Y! Sports.

All along, the league office had allowed the Hornets to negotiate the Chris Paul trade without interference, sources said. And then, this.

Update: ESPN has the story

NBA spokesman Mike Bass says: “It’s not true that the owners killed the deal, the deal was never discussed at the Board of Governors meeting and the league office declined to make the trade for basketball reasons.”

Sources said that a group of NBA owners, assembled in New York for the ratification of the league’s new labor pact with the players, protested vigorously that the league-owned Hornets were trading Paul to the star-studded Lakers and convinced NBA commissioner David Stern to intervene.

Link: Yahoo Sports has a copy of Dan Gilbert’s letter to David Stern imploring him to reject the trade


It would be a travesty to allow the Lakers to acquire Chris Paul in the apparent trade being discussed.

This trade should go to a vote of the 29 owners of the Hornets.

Over the next three seasons this deal would save the Lakers approximately $20 million in salaries and approximately $21 million in luxury taxes. That $21 million goes to non-taxpaying teams and to fund revenue sharing.

I cannot remember ever seeing a trade where a team got by far the best player in the trade and saved over $40 million in the process. And it doesn’t appear that they would give up any draft picks, which might allow to later make a trade for Dwight Howard. (They would also get a large trade exception that would help them improve their team and/or eventually trade for Howard.) When the Lakers got Pau Gasol (at the time considered an extremely lopsided trade) they took on tens of millions in additional salary and luxury tax and they gave up a number of prospects (one in Marc Gasol who may become a max-salary player).

I just don’t see how we can allow this trade to happen.

I know the vast majority of owners feel the same way that I do.

When will we just change the name of 25 of the 30 teams to the Washington Generals?

Please advise….

Dan G.


First Thoughts

This trade is as much about Dwight Howard as it is Chris Paul.

The Lakers have effectively positioned themselves as the ideal candidate for Dwight Howard to join + maintained their most valuable trade asset, in the eyes of Orlando, in Andrew Bynum to facilitate that trade.

New Orleans Hornets

It’s not a bad team. This new Hornets group. It has some nice balance and depth to it.

PG – Goran Dragic, Jarret Jack
SG – Kevin Martin,
SF – Trevor Ariza, Quincy Pondexter
PF – Luis Scola, Lamar Odom
C  – Emeka Okafor

I think that group would have led to a better squad than last year’s Chris Paul-led Hornets.

I really liked how Kevin Martin and Trevor Ariza complemented one another when they played together in Houston. Admirer of Dragic, I think he’d do well with the opportunity and give them good minutes (regardless of whether he starts or backs up Jack). The Odom, Scola and Okafor is one of the better big man rotations in the league.

Needs a little more depth on the wing, but yeah, I like it (short term, not long term).

Long term = I still think Rondo was their best option

Houston Rockets

So Houston would have had about $12 million in cap space this summer. They could even increase that if they wished by amnestying Hasheem Thabeet ($5.1mil) or Jonny Flynn ($3.4mil).

Next summer, the only contracts on their books would have been Pau Gasol + Kyle Lowry + their rookies from this year’s draft. About $32.5 million in total salaries including cap holds giving the Rockets up to $25 million to spend in free agency next summer if they chose to carry over their funds. Or $12 million this summer and another $12 million player next summer.

That cap space sure would have created some nice opportunities for Daryl Morey to add some talent around Pau Gasol and Kyle Lowry.

PG – K.Lowry, [need backup], J.Flynn
SG – C.Lee, T.Williams
SF – C.Budinger, [need backup]
PF – P.Patterson, M.Morris
C  – P.Gasol, H.Thabeet, J.Hill

Even if they didn’t make another key addition this summer, I sure would have preferred to have watched that team play than their current group of players.

That is a really fun team right there. Highly skilled offensive center in Pau Gasol. Quick four in Patrick Patterson. Nice shooting on the wings. The dynamic Terrance Williams off the bench. Kyle Lowry’s hustle in the backcourt. Nice. I like it.

Los Angeles Lakers

In the immediate sense, they have weakened their roster

PG – D.Fisher, S.Blake, D.Morris
SG – K.Bryant, J.Kapono
SF – R.Artest, M.Barnes
PF – [need starter], [need backups]
C  – A.Bynum, [need backup] D.Caracter

That big man rotation is heavily exposed and the Lakers salary situation doesn’t give them much flexibility in filling those holes. Plus, the pickings for those slots are fairly slim.

Quick Aside

It’s a little funny to see Houston and New Orleans improve and the Lakers get worse (in the short term I mean) … and everyone freaks out because LA got Chris Paul.

Obviously, things are more complex than that and LA Lakers have improved their long term prospects considerably (assuming C.Paul’s knees hold up) and the Hornets have hurt theirs considerably (compared to acquiring Rondo).

League Office and Trading Chris Paul

I have to believe at this point that the league will refuse to sanction any Chris Paul trade until after the Hornets are sold.

This could put New Orleans in a perilous situation heading into this year’s transfer deadline and possibly lose Paul altogether without compensation this summer if transfer of ownership doesn’t happen in time.

  1. As an aside, How good would that New Orleans Hornets team be if they managed to sign Chauncey Billups?

    PG – Chauncey Billups, Jarrett Jack and Goran Dragic
    SG – Kevin Martin
    SF – Trevor Ariza
    PF – Luis Scola, Lamar Odom
    C – Emeka Okafor

    Chauncey Billups and Kevin Martin forming a high level backcourt. Trevor Ariza doing the dirty work on the wing. A very strong big man rotation with Luis Scola, Lamar Odom and Emeka Okafor. A pair of high quality backup PGs in Jarrett Jack and Goran Dragic.

    That team wouldn’t be too far off being a contender.

    Now, obviously, it would be a long shot that they could get Chauncey Billups. He likely has more enticing options elsewhere (Miami?).

    I guess what I am trying to say is that they were one big piece away from having something really good there with that new lineup. However, they’d need an awful lot of luck to pull it off because they don’t have many assets left.

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