Lakers Rumors: Losing Pau Gasol Makes Houston Rockets Bigger Losers Than LA

Kyle VassaloFeatured ColumnistDecember 9, 2011

DALLAS, TX - MAY 08:  Forward Pau Gasol #16 of the Los Angeles Lakers on the ground after a foul by the Dallas Mavericks in Game Four of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs on May 8, 2011 at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

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.

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.