Dec 9, 2011, 12:08 PM EDT
NBA executives around the league are shocked — never before has the league stepped in to block a trade, even ones that appeared painfully lopsided — but they have used that power now.
And the teams involved don’t like it.
The question is will it work.
On one hand, the only people who can reverse this decision are David Stern himself or the owners, at whose behest Stern axed the deal. There would be public pressure to reverse course, but to do so would make a disasterous PR situation for the NBA even worse. Plus, the small market owners want their power back and do not like this.
There are reports the Hornets may try to reconfigure the deal and sweeten it somehow, which would allow the league to approve it and have an out that saves face. Relatively.
`The decision was taken that Chris Paul in New Orleans was more valuable than the trade that was being discussed, David Stern tells Bloomberg
So this was about the sale of the Hornets? The League owns the Hornets right now and is trying to find a buyer, is Stern saying they can’t do that at a good price without Paul?
Whoever buys the Hornets will have to fast come to the realization that Chris Paul is not going to stay with the team, he will leave as a free agent if nothing else. So I don’t understand how that could impact franchise value. Also, isn’t that owner going to want to get some value for Paul rather than letting him go for nothing? Does anyone think there is a better deal on the table right now than the Hornets getting Lamar Odom, Kevin Martin, Luis Scola, Goran Dragic and a first-round pick?
Chris Paul and the NBA players union continue to consider leagal action as an alternative. So this could end up an issue in federal courts.
The question to Stern is the owners becomes simply this: Which is worse, to keep fighting this battle or admit you were wrong?