According to Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times, the Lakers are fuming over the blockbuster deal that was approved six days after their proposed three-team trade for the All-Star point guard was vetoed by NBA Commissioner David Stern.
That should come as no surprise considering they seemed to have negotiated a deal to pair CP3 with five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant in the same backcourt. Last week, the Lakers put together a trade that would have sent Pau Gasol to the Houston Rockets and Lamar Odom to the New Orleans Hornets. Each team agreed to the trade and it looked to be a done deal, so much so that it nearly brought Odom to tears on the radio. But shortly after the deal was agreed to, Stern suddenly nixed the trade. League spokesman Mike Bass indicated the trade was vetoed for "basketball reasons" after denying that the rest of the owners, who happen to control the Hornets, killed the deal.
One could argue that New Orleans got a better deal by trading with the other team in Los Angeles. The Hornets received high-scoring guard Eric Gordon, center Chris Kaman, forward Al-Farouq Aminu and a first-round draft choice acquired from Minnesota to get Paul.
In the nixed three-team trade, the Hornets would have acquired a first-round pick from the Rockets to go along with Odom and Houston's Luis Scola and Kevin Martin. While those players are far more accomplished than those currently en route to the Big Easy, they also come with richer contracts. The 31-year-old Scola has three years left on a deal worth more than $9 million per season while Martin is owed $24 million over two seasons. Odom, who eventually was traded to the Mavericks, has one year remaining at $8.9 million.
In this Clippers-Hornets swap, New Orleans lands cheap youngsters in Gordon and Aminu. Although Kaman will earn $12.7 million during the upcoming season, the 29-year-old 7-footer is entering the last year of his deal.
ESPN's Tim Legler said Wednesday night that he believes the Hornets would have been a "more viable threat right now" if the three-team trade got approved. But he went on to say that the Clippers deal made New Orleans' future more brighter.
Thus far, Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak declined to comment. But what do you think? Which deal was better for New Orleans? For the NBA?