Earlier today we saw the Los Angeles Lakers trade away two of their best players in a three team deal to acquire New Orleans Hornets star point guard Chris Paul. It has just been announced that NBA commissioner David Stern has nullified the trade because many owners complained that a small market team was trading their star, soon-to-be free agent point guard because they feared he would leave after this season. Wasn’t this one of the main reasons the owners locked the players out, risking the loss of an entire season?
It looks like it will be a good thing for the Lakers that Stern nullified the deal. Losing two out of three very good big men would have probably made the Lakers worse. Chris Paul is a very good player, but losing that kind of talent in the front court would have been devastating to the Lakers. This situation will lead to many questions. Will Chris Paul not be able to be traded at all? If he is traded, will it have to be to another small market team? What will Paul’s future look like if he cannot be traded? It is obvious that many of the teams who are currently pursuing CP3 will not have the flexibility in cap space to sign Paul next season. As of right now, it looks like he will have to sign a long term deal with the Hornets or take his talents to a team that is not currently on his wish list.
The other big question surrounding the nullified CP3 trade will be what is going to happen with Dwight Howard. Howard seemed to be on his way out of Orlando, but it looks like that might not be the case anymore.
While this is probably a good thing for the NBA in having Stern nullify the Chris Paul trade, they will need to draw a line at some point. The NBA can’t continue to do this because it will hurt the league even more than star players leaving for bigger markets.