Everyone is talking about how much the LA Lakers and Chris Paul lose out from David Stern axing the CP3 to LA trade, but it's the third team involved in the trade—the Houston Rockets—that strikes out the most.
Even without Paul in LA, the Lakers still have Lamar Odom, Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol, should they choose to go to a different (potentially league-approved) trade to build their team for the future.
They've got the superstars, they're still a contender in the West and Kobe Bryant is still Kobe Bryant.
Meanwhile, the Hornets may be forced to hang onto Paul this season and let him slip into free agency, which makes them the second-biggest losers of this trade. However, the Rockets strike out the most as they fail to land a big man to fill the void that Yao Ming has left in the frontcourt.
Who is the biggest loser in this trade?
Not surprisingly, all three teams are fighting the league's action. According to ESPN's Marc Stein, "A trade of Paul elsewhere, according to the teams' argument, would mean that Stern and the league are choosing where Paul would play."
They are appealing the process and while a third-party team in a blockbuster trade doesn't usually have the most to lose, such is the case with the Rockets.
The Rockets are a fringe playoff team. They finished three games out of eighth place in the West. If this trade falls through, the Hornets and Lakers are still going to find the postseason in the upcoming year.
Houston had struck gold by being included in this trade. The fact that the commissioner used his dictatorial power to revoke it hurts the Rockets more than any party involved.