CHICAGO — Mere hours after the news broke, the deal arrived dead. Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers will not happen says league sources.
It was reported on ESPN, Yahoo!, Pippen Ain’t Easy and even CNN that one of the most premier point guards in the NBA was headed to L.A in a blockbuster trade meant for Hollywood. But like so many films, the twist ending caught us all by surprise.
NBA Owners gathered in New York — the same spot they did to toil about the NBA Lockout — to formally protest the trade. The subplots to this messy trade are endless. First you have Chris Paul who has stated both publicly and privately to management in New Orleans that he wants to play elsewhere and will likely opt-out of his contract at seasons end.
-@CP3 (Chris Paul) reaction to nixed trade to Lakers
So, to avoid a Carmelo Anthony scenario like Denver had to deal with last year, the Hornets do the sensible thing, they to deal Paul and get a decent return on him instead of ending up like Cleveland and getting zilch in return for their superstar.
But the catch is, the New Orleans Hornets are bankrupt and are league owned. So basically you have the NBA trading Chris Paul to the Lakers.
It’s the same thing as when you play a sports video game and you load up your team by trading all the superstars to your team.
So now that the NBA is caught in a web — either intentionally or unintentionally — they have only one option, nix the deal. But even this has massive consequences.
First and for most, revenue. This was the hot-button issue during the lockout and the NBA just coughed up mucho el dinero in terms of all those Chris Paul Laker jerseys that WON’T be sold now.
But they also may have over stepped their bounds. It’s like in Horrible Bosses when they all decide they’re so enraged with their bosses they’ll kill them, but when one actually dies they freak out and realize they’ve gone too far.
Same thing applies to the NBA consumers. The fans outside of Los Angeles were enraged that the league could allow another pooling of superstars in one major market to happen. But when the deal has the plug pulled we’re equally enraged the plug has been pulled.
A lot of interesting things will develop from this debacle but the main thing is that Chris Paul won’t be a Laker. At least not this season.
The ultimate last laugh is had by Jerry Buss, who just got a gigantic middle finger from his fellow owners via a vetoed trade. Here’s how Buss will be laughing all the way to the bank.
A) The lawyers get involved and the deal eventually goes down
B) The Lakers deal for Dwight Howard, Chris Paul opt-out of his contract after the season and after creating some smoke-screen drama with the Knicks to leverage a huge contract, signs with L.A. and the inevitable occurs.
Because if there’s one thing we’ve learned over time it’s this. The Buss always get’s what he wants no matter how he goes about getting it.