By I. Moregola
The 2011 Chris Paul vetoed trade was one of the worst disasters made by the NBA.
During the start of December 2011, NBA commissioner David Stern decided on one of the most peculiar and controversial decisions in the history of the NBA. This trade would have sent Chris Paul to the Western Conference to play for the Los Angeles Lakers. A week past this incident the NBA accepted a trade that sent Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Clippers, consequently alternating the trajectory of three other franchises amid the misunderstanding.
At the time that this happened, the league owned the New Orleans Hornets (now known as the New Orleans Pelicans) after buying the franchise from George Shinn in 2010. The decision was to be done by general manager Dell Dumps, that advocated for the trade of Paul to the Lakers. According to the New York Times, Stern vetoed the trade as a request of the other shareholders of the franchise which included Dan Gilbert of the Cavaliers who thought that the deal was too good for the Lakers. This decision was highly criticized at the time and looks even worse in the near future.
The package that the NBA rejected from the Lakers would have been a three-team trade with the rockets.
Hornets would get: Goran Dragic, Kevin Martin, Luis Scola, and New York's 2012 1st-round pick (which became Royce White)
Lakers would get: Chris Paul
Rockets would get: Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom
However, Stern accepted this deal from the Clippers:
Hornets get: Eric Gordon, Chris Kaman, Al-Farouq Aminu, and Minnesota's 2012 1st-round pick (which became Austin Rivers)
Clippers get: Chris Paul, two 2nd-round picks
Austin Rivers had one of the worst rookie years ever averaging only 8 points in a season. Furthermore, Gordon, the centerpiece of the trade was not effective as he was undone by a series of injuries. At the start of the season, he was averaging 9 points per game and shooting 23% from the three-point range a distinct difference between the 22.3 points per game and 36% three-point range that he averaged in the Lakers the season before. To a team that had playoffs aspirations, Gordon has been talked to as more of a burden to the franchise not to mention his $15 million dollar contract with New Orleans.
If the NBA had known that this would have been the turnout of the deal, they would not have vetoed Paul’s initial request. During the next few NBA seasons with the power of hindsight, the Lakers were remorseful of the wrongly chosen deal.
Goran Dragic is one of the best point guards of the league and Martin and Scola are better than any role player New Orleans got from the Clippers’ trade.
In 2012 the New Orleans team won the lottery draft and took Anthony Davis - who looked like the third best player of the season. Even so, the trade did not help the team excel and the Hornets (now Pelicans) would have been in a better position if the league had never intervened from the start.