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Thoughts on the Rejection Part 2 and another revised deal to make Paul to the LA Lakers work

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English: David Stern, commissioner of the Nati...

David, what ... have... you ... done? (Image via Wikipedia)

The mess the NBA got itself into in rejecting the Chris Paul to the LA Lakers trade got bigger yesterday when the NBA rejected the 2nd offer submitted by the Lakers, Rockets and Hornets.

The problem with the 2nd offer is it was by most reports, insulting similar to the 1st one. Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the Hornets “revisions” included sign and trading Jason Smith and Marcus Banks to the Lakers in the deal. Which changes nothing for the Hornets – it just adds to the luxury tax bill the Lakers would pay.

If Dell Demps thought that’d be enough or that the PR mess of veteoing this trade again would pass the same trade on the 2nd try, he was incredibly naive. He tried to put lipstick on a pig.

What Stern actually came out and said yesterday before this 2nd veto, is that he rejected the initial deal because it’s non-beneficial to the future of the Hornets financially. The NBA is trying to sell the team – and thus the most logical move in the post Paul era is to have a team full of young players on rookie contracts and a salary floor payroll. This trade leaves the Hornets with multiple long term contracts for veteran, short term players.

The Hornets didn’t make the trade the owner(s) wanted.

I still think if you changed the financial implications of this trade from “The Hornets add 16 million in salary next year and Luis Scola and Kevin Martin’s long term contracts” to “the Hornets save salary or don’t add any”, it would have a chance. Even with the Lakers trading Odom to Dallas this morning, this would be possible.

But let’s try to fix this trade with the following things in mind

– The Houston Rockets really, really wanted to get Pau Gasol with enough capspace to sign Nene at approximately 14-16 million the first year. To clear enough space for this, Kevin Martin and Luis Scola essentially both have to go out

– A suitable trade return for the Hornets would likely be including a combination of young Rockets pieces from the group Jonny Flynn, Gordan Dragic, Terrence Williams, Chase Budinger, Jordan Hill, Patrick Patterson, Donatas Motiejunas, Marcus Morris, Hasheem Thabeet

– The Lakers just traded Lamar Odom to the Dallas Mavericks and now have an 8.9 million TPE, allowing them to absorb a lot of salary in combination with Pau’s salary

I have a hard time seeing the Rockets give up both Martin and Scola AND those young pieces just for Pau Gasol. Therefore I believe they have to be getting more back. It seems to me the best way to do this is to include a 4th team who wants Martin or Scola – and the trade return for them taking the place of those Rockets young pieces.

Let’s try this massive trade:

The Lakers trade:

Pau Gasol

LA Lakers 2012 1st

Dallas Mavericks 2012 1st

(Out: 18.7 million)

The Lakers get:
Chris Paul

Trevor Ariza

Jarrett Jack

Nikola Pekovic

(In: 32.5 million)

The Rockets trade:
Kevin Martin

Luis Scola

Hasheem Thabeet

Goran Dragic

Terrence Williams

2012 New York 1st

(Out: 29.6 million)

The Rockets get:

Pau Gasol

(In: 18.7 million)

The Minnesota Timberwolves trade:

Nikola Pekovic

Martell Webster

Anthony Randolph

(Out: 12.4 million)

The Minnesota Timberwolves get:

Kevin Martin

(In: 12.0 million)

The Hornets trade:
Chris Paul

Trevor Ariza

Jarrett Jack

(Out: 28.2 million)

The Hornets get:

Luis Scola

Martell Webster

Terrence Williams

Anthony Randolph

Goran Dragic

Hasheem Thabeet

Dallas Mavericks 2012 1st

LA Lakers 2012 1st

New York Knicks 2012 1st

(In: 26.2 million)

From each team’s perspective if this trade if offered:

– The Lakers: They get the Chris Paul trade done for most of the pieces they agreed to before. They take Trevor Ariza and Jarrett Jack’s contracts, but both players can play in their rotation. It’s a minor change for them. The Lakers say yes.

– The Rockets: Like LA, this is a nearly identical trade to what they’ve agreed to twice – They add Terrence Williams, but also save more salary by dumping Hasheem Thabeet’s contract. By cutting nearly 11 million in salary, the Rockets easily have the salary to give maximum salary offers to either Nene or Pau’s brother Marc Gasol. This twin towers approach is reportedly the Rockets goal after this trade. The Rockets say yes.

– David Stern… oops, I mean the Hornets: It’s hard to imagine the team getting a better return than this with 3 1st round picks and a flier, 3 formerly highly touted lottery talents in Anthony Randolph, Terrence Williams, Hasheem Thabeet, plus Goran Dragic and Martell Webster who aren’t old. If David Stern expects to get more than 3-5 upside young players and 3 draft picks for Paul, he hasn’t seen the history of superstar trade return. Unlike the veteod deal, the Hornets also take on little salary both next year and long term. The Hornets have been embarrased by this veto and if they don’t make this deal happen are looking at brutal lowball offers. The Hornets say yes.

– The Timberwolves: This is the addition that we haven’t heard much about but is needed. I like the trade for them. Anthony Randolph has NO spot in their rotation with Kevin Love, Derrick Williams and Michael Beasely being available for PF minutes, they have Brad Miller and Darko to play Pekovic’s C minutes and they Martin takes Webster’s. They have no draft pick next year and are looking to improve immediately after a handful of sub 20 W seasons. Kevin Martin is a terrific fit beside Ricky Rubio with the shotcreating ability and spacing Ricky doesn’t have. He also has a history with Rick Adelman. This is a nice pickup for a small price, especially considering they acquired Randolph solely in return for their capspace to facilitate the Carmelo Anthony deal to New York. The Timberwolves say yes.

I think if this Chris Paul trade to the LA Lakers doesn’t go through, it’s a disaster for all parties. The Lakers lineup next year is in shambles after needing to cut ties with the emotional Lamar Odom, the Hornets are looking at nothing in return for Chris Paul, and the Rockets have said this puts their plan back years. Therefore I expect that like the lockout, it’s in the interest of all parties to continue to talk and get it done.

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Written by jr.

December 11, 2011 at 11:55 am

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