It has been a crazy offseason so far, but no other story has enticed the masses more than the Chris Paul drama. The hubbub started last year as the Hornets were on the verge of contraction, until the NBA purchased the Hornets from previous owners George Shinn and Gary Chouest. Leagues have owned franchises before this wasnâ€™t anything special and business was going to be as usual. But the NBA lockout this past year has vastly changed the landscape of the NBA and the way it does business.
Paul was originally set to go to LAâ€™s other team, the Lakers in a massive three team deal, but since the league owned the team, Commissioner David Stern vetoed the original trade. Not too long after, the Clippers threw their hat into the Chris Paul sweepstakes and offered a package New Orleans General Manager Dell Demps found enticing. But unfortunately for them, Stern once again vetoed the trade. Sports reporters were in a uproar as writers were calling Stern a bully and felt the commissioner was laying down to the will of the owners, something Stern has never done as commissioner.
But the trade has successfully went through with Paul and two future second-round picks going to the Clippers for center Chris Kaman, forward Al-Farouq Aminu, guard Eric Gordon and a future first-round pick. This trade and the lockout has definitely changed the way business will be done in the NBA from now on. A trade of this caliber would not have made such waves in the past, but since the Hornets are technically owned by all 30 owners, they have cause for alarm. Paul is now going from a bottom league market to perhaps the biggest market in the league, Los Angeles. Lower level teams are afraid superstars, like the caliber of Paul, will ask for trades out of their small markets to larger markets. It is a legitimate concern for the owners as they donâ€™t want the biggest markets to be built with top-level players, something that has happened in Miami.
But the league tended to overreact over all this Paul drama. Paul is set to become a free agent after this season and was not going to stay with the Hornets. It was in the Hornets best interest to trade them and get some good compensation for him. But letâ€™s not be all solemn about the trade, with the addition of Paul the Clippers look to make some noise in the Western Conference. With Paul, Blake Griffin and Chauncey Billups teaming up, look for the Clippers to make some waves this year.