Well, Dan Gilbert is writing letters again. As you’re well aware, the Los Angeles Lakers, New Orleans Hornets, and Houston Rockets had agreed to a trade in principle that would send Chris Paul to the Lakers. The NBA, which coincidentally owns the Hornets, vetoed the trade late Thursday. Now, it’s complete chaos – apparently Paul will not report to the Hornets on Friday, while Lamar Odom (who, along with Paul Gasol, was to be traded out of LA) may not report to the Lakers.
Stern’s veto of the trade supposedly came from pressure among smaller market owners who were worried about competitive balance, and didn’t like the fact that after five months of a lockout, it was more of the same among star players “choosing” their destinations.
And late Thursday, Yahoo! published a letter from Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert to Commissioner Stern that is a seething plea to block the trade. As you can imagine, Gilbert’s letter has not and will not go over too well.
One thing that is interesting is that this letter was leaked late to Yahoo! after intense and relentless criticism of David Stern and the league office mounted over the course of the evening. The leak had the effect of immediately turning the guns from Stern on to Gilbert, who was getting crushed on Twitter and in the press. Unlike the comic sans contretemps, this one, as far we know, was sent in confidence to limited recipients and not for the public.
The complete letter, via Yahoo!, after the jump:
It would be a travesty to allow the Lakers to acquire Chris Paul in the apparent trade being discussed.
This trade should go to a vote of the 29 owners of the Hornets.
Over the next three seasons this deal would save the Lakers approximately $20 million in salaries and approximately $21 million in luxury taxes. That $21 million goes to non-taxpaying teams and to fund revenue sharing.
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.
I know the vast majority of owners feel the same way that I do.
When will we just change the name of 25 of the 30 teams to the Washington Generals?