The New Orleans Hornets were sending Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers, who were shiping Lamar Odom to the Hornets and Pau Gasol to the Houston Rockets. Houston was sending Luis Scola, Kevin Martin, Goran Dragic and draft picks to the Hornets.
But the NBA slammed on the brakes, refusing to approve the trade.
One owner, the Cleveland Cavs’ Dan Gilbert, in an email obtained by Yahoo, called the trade “a travesty” and urged that it go to a vote of the 29 owners of the Hornets.
He said of the big- and small-market teams : “When will we just change the name of 25 of the 30 teams to the Washington Generals?”
Yahoo says that the timestamp indicates Gilbert sent the email after the trade had been killed. He wrote, in part:
“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.”
An NBA spokesman told Yahoo that said owners “didn’t kill the deal.” It was killed for “basketball reasons.”
Whatever the purpose, it leaves a bunch of players in a state of flux as players report for training camp today and is bringing criticism down upon the league.
“I guess that means I’m a Laker if the trade didn’t go through,” Odom told the LA Times in a telephone interview. “I don’t know what to do for the Lakers. I’m even weirded out by the league doing what they did. I don’t know what to do.”
Odom was surprised by the trade, saying he thought it was “a lie” when he first heard about it.
“And then it doesn’t go through,” Odom said. “Oh, Lord, I don’t know what I’m going to do. I’ll pray about it. ... Maybe I’ll see you there [at practice], but I doubt it. You don’t want to go to no place you’re not wanted. I’ll try to give them what they want as much as possible.”
Chris Paul opted to use a three-letter word to describe his reaction:
Tyson Chandler to the Knicks
Caron Butler to the Clippers
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