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Chris Paul to Clippers deal dies, league’s demands too steep

Dec 12, 2011, 2:37 PM EDT

chris-paul-looks-confused Getty Images

Chris Paul is not going to Los Angeles. Not to the Lakers because David Stern killed the deal and now not to the Clippers because he and the league drove the asking price too high, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo and multiple other reports.

And now you have to wonder: Next time a league GM sees Hornets’ GM Dell Demps’ number come up on his phone, will he just send it straight to voicemail? Who is going to want to trade with the Hornets now?

There appear to be several versions of the deal offered but the league — read David Stern — wanted there to be Eric Gordon, Eric Bledsoe, Chris Kaman, Al-Farouq Aminu and a 2012 unprotected first round pick of the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The Clippers were reluctant to part with Gordon and really would not part with Gordon and the pick and Bledsoe. So the Clippers walked away from the table, which is a reasonable thing to do because they are a good team with those guys. It is possible this deal gets revived because the league relents, but for now it is dead.

This is very similar to how the CP3 to the Lakers deal fell apart, in that the league decided it was not enough. The difference was in the Clippers case Demps thought he had the autonomy to make a dead and reached one all sides agreed to. In the Clippers case, the league was dictating terms to Demps and the Clippers from early on, and were driving such a hard bargain they killed the deal. (Sounds a lot like the lockout, doesn’t it?)

There are suggestions that the league doesn’t think it can get as much money in a sale of the Hornets if Paul is not on the team. But no owner who would buy the team is stupid enough not to know that Paul is gone at the end of the year, and any smart owner would want something to start rebuilding on in return. Like either of the Los Angeles deals.

If there is no deal by the trade deadline for Paul, he will leave the Hornets next summer as a free agent and the team will get nothing. He has told them he will will not sign an extension to stay with the franchise. (That is not about the city of New Orleans, it’s about the franchise and ownership.)

There is one other aspect to this: There are rumblings the union may file a collusion lawsuit against the league on behalf of Paul. In the case of the Lakers deal, while the league denies this there was clearly pressure from the other owners that helped kill that deal, they did not want to see the big market, powerhouse Lakers improve right after a lockout about competitive balance.

  1. blueintown - Dec 12, 2011 at 2:40 PM

    Ummm…this is getting pretty ridiculous.

    • regacideking - Dec 12, 2011 at 4:49 PM

      Completely insane

      Sign this petition if you want David Stern gone.

  2. clippers2012 - Dec 12, 2011 at 2:41 PM

    Wow!! Really??

  3. SmackSaw - Dec 12, 2011 at 2:42 PM

    The league has proved to be an unreliable trading partner. Nobody should deal with them

    Free Del Demps!

  4. bparmalee - Dec 12, 2011 at 2:44 PM

    It hasnt been this hard for a black man to get out New Orleans since Katrina!! Whats next?? Is Stern going to make Chris Paul live in the Super Dome?

    • bozosforall - Dec 12, 2011 at 3:07 PM


    • lakepoinsett - Dec 12, 2011 at 4:32 PM

      OMG THAT is funny! I agree with bozosforall…this IS the POTD!

  5. barbeaux - Dec 12, 2011 at 2:44 PM

    The NBA owning a team is definitely a conflict of interest.

    • florida727 - Dec 12, 2011 at 3:39 PM

      Duck Favid Stern. The guy will single-handedly destroy the league thanks to his ego. If the owners had any balls, they’d sh*t-can this guy before he does any more damage. NOTE to CP3 legal team: sue him PERSONALLY, and the league collectively.

  6. derekjetersmansion - Dec 12, 2011 at 2:46 PM

    It stinks that Paul has to be martyred here.

  7. gatorays - Dec 12, 2011 at 2:46 PM

    Trade him to Orlando…so Dwight will stay

  8. derekjetersmansion - Dec 12, 2011 at 2:48 PM

    Wait, so if people only root for laundry, then why is Stern demanding Paul stay?

  9. mcnast731 - Dec 12, 2011 at 2:50 PM

    Last time I checked, David Stern was not an NBA GM. He is single-handedly going to destroy the hornets franchise. Now there is only one team left that will possibly do a deal (Warriors) and their package will be the worse than any other package they’ve seen. Good Luck Stern. You become the biggest goat in the history of the NBA in a matter of a week.

  10. jk29 - Dec 12, 2011 at 2:52 PM

    Maybe Stern is going to kill any deal that doesn’t send CP3 to NYC.

  11. bigtganks - Dec 12, 2011 at 2:53 PM

    Wow, for this, I hope CP3 doesn’t get traded and leaves NO with nothing in six months

  12. cantonbound13 - Dec 12, 2011 at 2:58 PM

    Thanks for ruining the league LeBron, Wade & Bosh.

  13. thevza - Dec 12, 2011 at 3:00 PM

    Wow, the NBA has really done a magnificent job repairing its image with the fans post-lockout. That is, all 80 fans who are left at this point….

  14. worldbfree4me - Dec 12, 2011 at 3:05 PM

    Free Chris Paul now Stern! The players are sick and tired of this Hi-Tek Plantation you are running!!

  15. shutupyoufuckingidiots - Dec 12, 2011 at 3:06 PM

    So now New Orleans will get nothing after Chris Paul leaves at the end of the season?

  16. sterko - Dec 12, 2011 at 3:15 PM

    Clip it, Hang it, Klitch it

    Get a Klitch!


  17. 1historian - Dec 12, 2011 at 3:17 PM

    Can you say ‘LAWSUIT’ boys and girls?

    • iknowzeroaboutsports - Dec 12, 2011 at 3:29 PM

      Can you say “No evidence to prevail in a lawsuit?” Oh, wait, maybe the owners issued signed, written statements to each other documenting their collusion, saved copies and cc’d the nbpa.

      • florida727 - Dec 12, 2011 at 3:43 PM

        Guess again genius. It’s called a “right to work”. An NBA players’ contract does NOT preclude them from plying their trade wherever they so choose. Only that they fulfill their contract, which CP3 is doing. If I were him, I’d come down with some mysterious injury that doesn’t show up on an x-ray or MRI, just hurts enough to prevent me from playing.

      • iknowzeroaboutsports - Dec 12, 2011 at 3:59 PM

        Okay, “genius”, where does your reply say anything about whether he can prevail in a lawsuit, which was the point of my reply? FYI, “prevail” means “win”.

      • cowhawkfan - Dec 12, 2011 at 6:23 PM

        I don’t think Paul has a case. The NBA owns the team. The owner can veto any trades made by his subordinates. This is no different than Cuban vetoing a trade by Donnie Nelson. We may not agree with Stern, but so what…he’s the de facto owner.

      • deadeyedesign23 - Dec 12, 2011 at 6:35 PM

        Well the difference is the clear conflict of interest that exists with “the league” owning the Hornets. If you look at Gilbert’s letter he never once references the Hornets getting worse, it’s all about the Lakers getting better. They need to appoint someone to run the Hornets in the best interest of the Hornets in the interim and the league should have no say.

        And with regards to Paul, I’m no lawyer so I don’t know how it would hold up legally, but other owners, because of their conflict of interest have essentially taken 20+ million dollars out of his pockets. I think you could certainly make an argument that this is restriction of interstate commerce, which would violate the antitrust exemptions.

  18. sonofsambowie - Dec 12, 2011 at 3:38 PM

    Davis Stern wants to trade you Chris Paul and man, he’s got an offer you can’t refuse!

  19. thetooloftools - Dec 12, 2011 at 3:44 PM

    I’m quickly losing interest in the NBA. Wake me up when the playoffs start.

  20. baboushka - Dec 12, 2011 at 4:06 PM

    David Stern is looking more and more like the “Plantation Overlord” that Bryant Gumbel accused him of being on HBO’s Real Sports. He completely cut the legs from underneath the African American GM that he and the other owners put in charge of making deals for the Hornets. Stern’s behavior and conduct in the affairs of The Hornets and the NBA strike should receive the severest level of public and journalistic scrutiny. IMO he has way outlived his usefulness as an Objective Commissioner of the NBA. No one trusts him anymore. Time for him to go IMO.

    • sonofsambowie - Dec 12, 2011 at 4:21 PM

      Eh, take it easy with the racial thing. Like it or not, he’s just trying to protect the interests of a team that still needs to be sold. Without the right trade, who would want to buy that team without chris paul?

      • baboushka - Dec 12, 2011 at 4:28 PM

        My comment below was targeted for your reply. I have no idea how it ended up there.

  21. goforthanddie - Dec 12, 2011 at 4:20 PM

    Demps should quit, he’s wasting his time, poor guy. Paul should be suing the bejesus out of the league. And Stern better start making those retirement plans.

    • baboushka - Dec 12, 2011 at 4:27 PM

      Know what? You’re right. Good point. It’s too easy to heap the blame sometime. That team could end up being sold to an investor in Seattle for example. And they would certainly want CP3 as a starting point. Great comment!

      • sonofsambowie - Dec 12, 2011 at 4:44 PM

        Thanks. Honestly, I didn’t see it at first either. I’ve always been a Stern fan more or less but I saw his killing the Laker as him killing the best offer NO would get. What I now see is that Stern is thinking only about the ability to sell this team moving forward, and not the roster. Without Paul, the franchises’ value essentially plummets.

        Now I see why he’s being so goddamn stubborn about it. He’s thinking you either hold out for every last thing you can squeeze from another team or you try to force Paul to resign there.

        And honestly, I totally see his point.

      • cubalakeshow - Dec 12, 2011 at 4:45 PM

        CP3 has made it clear hes not staying and their only other all star just left to Indiana so at the end of this year they will have noone of above average quality and their value to be sold will plummet even more. I’m sure someone will buy the Hornets eventually ….off the dollar menu

  22. sonofsambowie - Dec 12, 2011 at 4:47 PM

    Damn, time for me to get to bloggin’.

  23. sonofsambowie - Dec 12, 2011 at 4:49 PM

    @Cuba: Not saying it’s guaranteed to work. Just saying that appears to be Stern’s strategy, and honestly I think if they are patient they’ll find a winning offer.

    • david8726 - Dec 12, 2011 at 5:42 PM

      No, they won’t. No potential owner is going to be stupid enough to think to himself “Hey! If I buy the Hornets, that means CHRIS PAUL is gonna be on my team!”

      He’s leaving at the end of this year, one way or another, and everyone knows it.

      At this point, if Stern refuses to trade Paul somewhere, he’s actually hurting the value of the franchise because the situation there is in chaos and they will be left with nothing when Paul leaves.

      I agree with what Chris Broussard said on ESPN earlier – At this point, it’s fair to start wondering if the league might even contract the Hornets after this year with the way things are going. Why else would they continue to make decisions that are actually hurting the team they own?

      • sonofsambowie - Dec 12, 2011 at 7:56 PM

        I think you’re confused. I’m saying Stern is holding out for the best possible deal, and banking that someone will pony up what they want. They almost got the Clippers to give them the farm, and they still might. He’s got all year to sit back and wait for someone to panic.

        Bottom line is, David Stern is in control and he knows what he’s doing. Really, his moves here are genius:

      • sonofsambowie - Dec 12, 2011 at 7:58 PM

        It’s not hurting the team yet. Not even close. They have all year to get this done and Stern is just being patient. And I can assure you, contraction is the last resort.

    • mogogo1 - Dec 12, 2011 at 11:47 PM

      They may or may not get somebody to give up the farm for Paul. But there are far larger questions involved than that:

      1. Does anybody really believe that having the NBA own a team is a good idea? Here we have a team that apparently nobody wants–it’s in such sad shape that not a single self-centered billionaire can be found who’s got every other toy except a pro sports team. It’s bad for the league’s image and bad for the other teams to keep a floundering franchise afloat. It also sets a horrible precedent, given that supposedly a large chunk of teams are in the red. Are they willing to operate multiple teams, potentially at the same time?

      2. Even if you’re okay with the league owning the Hornets, surely NOBODY out there can possibly believe it’s in the best interests of anybody to have Stern actively involved in running the team. He’s supposed to be the commissioner of the ENTIRE league and trying to rob the richer teams to appease the poorer ones and keep the dying Hornets afloat is a serious conflict of interest that is going to hang over him long after the Hornets ownership situation is settled. There should have been an independent entity appointed to serve as the de facto owner of the Hornets. Sure, people could have cried about that guy also having a conflict of interest, but at least it wouldn’t be the actual commissioner.

  24. charlutes - Dec 12, 2011 at 5:11 PM

    Everyone, throw tomatoes at David Stern!

  25. jek027 - Dec 12, 2011 at 6:09 PM

    Supposedly Gordon in the last year of his contract, if this is true then I can see why Stern is demanding more. It is not certain Gordon will stay long term either so essentially you are trading Paul for a draft pick and Aminu. Hardly a get

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