Hours and minutes have passed, and the anticipation of Chris Paul going to the Los Angeles Lakers seems like a dream that is slowly becoming a reality. I have never been this intense and this glued to Twitter, patiently waiting for Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski's updates.
The New Orleans Hornets are making their full offense before they get checkmate. In a perfect world, they would have wanted Paul to sign up an extension and end his career in New Orleans. However, Paul wanted out in NO. He wanted to win and earn a ring of his own. He wanted to be in New York and form a triumvirate with Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire.
With the Knicks going another direction and getting the services of prized big man Tyson Chandler, it looks like Paul will be out of the picture this season. The Knicks will have to unload Ronny Turiaf and Chauncy Billups' $14.2 million contract to accommodate Chandler. So, the Los Angeles Lakers presented something that general manager Dell Demps will find hard to refuse.
This came as a three-way deal involving the Lakers, Hornets and the Houston Rockets. The Lakers would end up with Paul while LA would ship two All-Star players in Pau Gasol to the Rockets and Lamar Odom to the Hornets. The Hornets will also get Luis Scola, Kevin Martin and Goran Dragic, plus the 2012 first-round pick that came from the Knicks.
The Hornets will get quality and very talented players and will have a pretty competitive lineup with Scola, Lamar Odom, Trevor Ariza, Martin and Jarrett Jack, and the Rockets will have Gasol as Yao Ming’s replacement, while also luring quality big man Nene from Denver. The Lakers, on the other hand, will boost a lineup with Bynum, Metta World Peace, Kobe Bryant and Paul. They are also negotiating for a Dwight Howard trade with Bynum and might sign up Turiaf.
All in all, this seems to be a good trade for all the parties involved. The Hornets will get something good in return, without the drama and media hoopla like what happened with Cleveland and LeBron James.
But just like a dream, NBA Commissioner David Stern woke us up back to reality. All of a sudden, the deal was off. Adrian Wojnarowski reported the power-hungry Stern wasn’t going to let Paul dictate where he wanted to go. The NBA owners pushed Stern to pull the trigger, and the deal was off. The board of governors and league office could only make a pathetic excuse like “for basketball reasons."
Just as I expected—hours and minutes of waiting, I knew this thing could happen.
It was just too good to be true.