Chris Paul: Vetoed Trade Would Have Helped Hornets More Than Lakers

David Stern's decision to block the three-way trade that would send Chris Paul to the Lakers has been met with so much outrage from the media, fans and even people who are not associated with the NBA. It almost feels like Cavs' owner Dan Gilbert is the only human being who's happy Stern blocked this trade (Actually, scratch that. Gilbert is probably still finding something to complain about).

Stern is being condemned for exploiting his power as commissioner and for caving under many of the owners' complaints about the unfairness of CP3 going to the Los Angeles Lakers. These criticisms are totally deserved, but what's most frustrating about this story is that the trade would have been extremely fair for all three teams involved.

It seems that Stern and the owners saw Paul going to the Lakers and were afraid this would eventually lead to the clustering of a few competitive teams in large markets like LA, leaving no chance for small-market teams like the New Orleans Hornets to contend for a championship. These league higher-ups failed to see just how negative vetoing this trade actually is on the futures of the Hornets and other small market teams.

Let's examine the Houston Rockets' side of the deal first. Houston would have given up Luis Scola (over 18 points and eight rebounds per game), Kevin Martin (over 23 ppg), Goran Dragic (a young, underrated guard) and a 2012 first-round draft pick for the 31-year-old Pau Gasol.

So, their side of the trade wasn't ideal, but it wouldn't have been as bad as it looks.

Scola and Martin are very good offensively, but they are below-average defenders, and Houston isn't going to win a title with those two unless they add a superstar, which is nearly impossible because of how much money they have invested in Scola and Martin (almost $20 million per year combined). Gasol wouldn't have turned the Rockets into a contender, but the team wouldn't have been much better if they had kept ...

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