Chris Paul, Dan Gilbert and How the Trade Fiasco Will Hamper Rebuilding Efforts

J HillContributor IIIDecember 10, 2011

CLEVELAND - OCTOBER 27:  Majority owner Dan Gilbert of the Cleveland Cavaliers talks to the media prior to playing the Boston Celtics in the Cavaliers 2010 home opner at Quicken Loans Arena on October 27, 2010 in Cleveland, Ohio.  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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2010 NBAE (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

A few nights ago, Chris Paul was packing his bags for a permanent trip to Los Angeles to join the Lakers in a trade that would have seen Lamar Odom, Luis Scola, Kevin Martin, Goran Dragic and a Knicks first-round draft pick off to the New Orleans Hornets and Pau Gasol to the Houston Rockets.

All of that was nixed in an extraordinarily controversial decision by League Commissioner David Stern for "basketball reasons." How does any of this link to the Cleveland Cavaliers?

Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert sent an email to David Stern that damned the trade, calling it a "travesty," also throwing in a comment that insults most of the teams in the league to the effect of "When will we just change the name of 25 of the 30 teams to the Washington Generals?" just for good measure.

The first time Gilbert went crazy at the keyboard, it didn't look good. Now this is just the icing on the cake. This was all in response to a trade that, when looked at by any sane person, looked like a good thing for all parties involved that was in no way shape or form invalid. 

The average fan doesn't care, heck they probably don't even know who Dan Gilbert is, but NBA players and agents know. These comments and opinions only serve to hurt the Cavaliers franchise more because they are public. If I was an NBA player who wasn't a huge Cavs fan, I would not want to play for Dan Gilbert because he is so obviously against players' rights.

One of the key parts of building a competitive team is being able to get key free agents and now the only way to get those key players will be by overpaying them.

And who knows, maybe some of the other team owners will take the comment personally and not wish to trade with Dan Gilbert anymore.

The weight on rookie Kyrie Irving's shoulders just got heavier because, unless he turns out to be a star that other players really want to play with, we will have no shot at attaining good free agents. That is, of course, assuming his agent isn't going to tell him to cut and run as soon as his first contract is over.