Another day, another potential Chris Paul trade gets killed by David Stern and the NBA. As we all know, the Chris Paul situation is very confusing and frustrating for fans. In December 2010, the league assumed ownership of the New Orleans Hornets until the team attracts a new buyer that will keep the team in the city. Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that league has gone as far as running Chris Paul trade talks themselves, superseding current Hornets GM Dell Demps. This maneuver by the league has obviously made it difficult for Demps to do his job and make another deals. Will David Stern object to each move that the team makes?
This situation brings one question: when in professional sports has the governing body taken so much control over a franchise? In the last few years, Major League Baseball has come and worked with cash strapped franchises like the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Dodgers before eventually finding new ownership (Hopefully soon in the case of the Dodgers). The MLB didn’t prevent the Rangers from acquiring Cliff Lee during the 2010 season. The NFL never stepped when it seemed like Al Davis had gone insane with the Raiders.
At various points of the last two days, young Clippers Eric Bledsoe was also a part of the Clippers/Hornets deal, but for David Stern these potential deals weren’t quite enough. Not necessarily knocking your teams, Hornets and Minnesota Timberwolves fans, but let’s say the Clippers deal went through and the Hornets became a lottery team. Let’s also assume that the T-Wolves was also a lottery team. The Hornets would have two first round picks in the 2012 draft. A draft that’s said to be stack with talent. [FYI: The Clippers acquired the 2012 1st round pick from the Minnesota Timberwolves. It’s unprotected.] The Hornets could have also flipped players like Chris Kaman for draft picks as well.
The NBA isn’t allowing Dell Demps to do his job and has put an additional asterisk next to the 2011-2012 season. The lock out season and the season that David Stern didn’t let Los Angeles make a big trades.
When I initially came up with the idea for this piece, it seemed like the Chris Paul/Clippers wasn’t necessarily a done deal, but it felt like there was a chance. A chance that the Clippers could steal a bit of thunder from their cross hallway rivals. Yet, the deal is apparently dead, but may be reworked at a later time.