NBA Commissioner David Stern stepped in Thursday night to veto a trade between the Los Angeles Lakers, New Orleans Hornets and Houston Rockets that would have sent All-Star Point Guard Chris Paul to the Lakers, with Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom heading out.
At the time, the NBA released a statement saying, "the deal was never discussed at the Board of Governors meeting and the league office declined to make the trade for basketball reasons."
Now, according to Yahoo Sports, Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert sent an email to Stern asking for the league's 29 owners be allowed to vote on the deal. The NBA owns the Hornets, meaning any moves the team makes must be approved by the NBA.
Calling the proposed trade a "travesty", Gilbert laid out exactly why the deal should not be allowed, and it goes a lot further than just talent on the court.
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."
Gilbert went on to say that the Lakers could then use the salary relief they acquire in the trade to make a move on Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard, long rumored to be angling for a move west.
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.)
While the e-mail was not reported to be sent in Comic Sans, Gilbert did add some humor in asking Stern about changing team names in the majority of the NBA to the "Washington Generals".
The deal was later rejected and all players remain with their current teams. The backlash could send the League and it's players back to court as Paul researches legal options with NBPA chief Billy Hunter.