Chris Paul was supposed to be headed to Tinsel Town to play for the Lakers. Ultimately that deal didn’t work due to a timely nixing of the deal by NBA commissioner David Stern. (Who, by the way, is now running the Hornets as their interim owner and GM after rendering Dell Demps useless.)
That trade amounted to nothing, except the Lakers trading NBA Sixth-Man-of- the-Year winner Lamar Odom to the almost arch-rival Mavericks and a media session of head scratching from Kobe Bryant
But back to Chris Paul. After the Lakers deal fell through, their cross-venue-rival Clippers swooped into the bidding for Paul. The asking price proved much too expensive for LA’s other team, and they pulled out of the deal, only to come up with amnesty-wire-acquisition Chauncey Billups.
If this is the last trade push we see by both the Lakers and Clippers then we might have seen the climax of the Chris Paul trade. The trade suitors of the former Wake Forrest point guard are running low. The Knicks have used their only cap space on Paul’s former alley-oop partner Tyson Chandler. The Celtics only enticing player is Rajon Rondo. The Lakers have now positioned themselves for more of a run at Dwight Howard. Speaking of Howard, there isn’t much of a chance that Paul goes to Orlando. Golden State just gave Kwame Brown seven million dollars for 66 games. Yes, that’s right, Kwame Brown just got seven million. Go ahead, read it a couple more times to let it sink in. Kwame Brown just got seven million dollars for sixty six games! Golden State might be a bit generous with their cash-flow but probably won’t be able to sign Paul to an extension. After the Bay Area that leaves us with Dallas, who has little-to-no enticing assets. Maybe free agency in the offseason, but Chris Paul probably isn’t going to be traded to the Mavs.
That being said, the market for a Chris Paul trade is likely both of the teams who call LA home. Now, Stern and the league are faced with the reality of both annoying Paul and keeping him in NOLA. Stern then looks like a fool for vetoing the first Lakers trade and doing it again minus Lamar Odom, plus being completely contradictory with the new CBA and small market teams. Not to mention making it look like you’re trying to build a super team in one of the country’s biggest markets, sports or no. Option three is to lower their steep asking price and take the Clippers trade only to make one of your chief money-makers, the Lakers, feel cheated and enraged.
David Stern can’t win with the Chris Paul situation, no way around it.