With the veto of the Chris Paul trade last night, it became evident that the NBA owners have completely lost control.
The trade would have sent Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers. In return the New Orleans Hornets would have gotten four solid players and a draft pick. The Houston Rockets would have only gotten Pau Gasol.
The league deemed the trade unfair and in the better interest of all teams. However, it hurt everyone except for Houston.
Now the Lakers do not get Paul and they are left with two very disgruntled players in Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol. The Hornets are stuck with Paul, who is definitely leaving after the season and is reportedly holding out now.
The Hornets are league owned and while having Paul on the roster does increase the value of the team, who would buy a team knowing the star is leaving no matter what as soon as he can?
David Stern left the Hornets in terrible shape. The trade would have given them a solid starting lineup and room for improvement with the draft pick.
Stern and the owners allowed for the new CBA to pass without introducing a hard salary cap or at least making maximum contracts higher so teams could afford less star players. Now the league is in essentially the same shape and the Hornets are less likely to become a viable team.
If there is ever a time when contraction seems like the best option, it is now.