Here is the official statement from David Stern on his veto of the NBA trade that would have sent Chris Paul to the Lakers in a three-team deal.
“Since the NBA purchased the New Orleans Hornets, final responsibility for significant management decisions lies with the Commissioner’s Office in consultation with team chairman Jac Sperling. All decisions are made on the basis of what is in the best interests of the Hornets. In the case of the trade proposal that was made to the Hornets for Chris Paul, we decided, free from the influence of other NBA owners, that the team was better served with Chris in a Hornets uniform than by the outcome of the terms of that trade.”
Well of course the Hornets are better on the court with Chris Paul than without, that was never in question. You also never get equal value back when trying to trade a superstar.
However, Chris Paul is gone from the Hornets next summer if you choose not to trade him. Let him walk for nothing and you set the franchise back, maybe for a decade (ask the Magic after they let Shaq walk for nothing). You need to trade him, and you are not going to find a better deal than one with recent Sixth Man of the Year Lamar Odom, sharpshooter Kevin Martin, Luis Scola, Goran Dragic and a first round pick in a deep draft. That is not a bad deal.
It sounds like the league was more concerned they could not sell the franchise for as much without Paul in a Hornets uniform. But whoever the new owner is will have to deal with the same situation.
But now you have Stern’s words.