Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert sent an email to NBA commissioner David Stern on Thursday pressuring him to block the trade of Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers.
The proposed three-team deal that would have sent Paul to Los Angeles, Pau Gasol to the Houston Rockets and Lamar Odom, Luis Scola, Kevin Martin, Goran Dragic and a 2012 first-round pick to the New Orleans Hornets was agreed to by all three teams before the league stepped in and stopped it for “basketball reasons.”
Rumors swirled immediately that a group of owners that included Mark Cuban were vocal in their opposition to the deal and pressured Stern to block it. Spokespeople for the league have denied any such thing took place.
Well, now we have proof that they are lying.
In the email Gilbert calls the deal a “travesty” and requests that Stern put the deal to a vote of the league’s 29 owners. Yahoo! Sports has obtained the email which was sent to Stern, deputy commissioner Adam Silver and a handful of league owners.
The full text of the email is after the jump.
It would be a travesty to allow the Lakers to acquire Chris Paul in the apparent trade being discussed.
This trade should go to a vote of the 29 owners of the Hornets.
Over the next three seasons this deal will save the Lakers approximately $20 million in salaries and approximately $21 million in luxury taxes. That $21 million goes to non-taxpaying teams and to fund revenue sharing.
I cannot remember ever seeing a trade where a team got by far the best player in the trade and saved over $40 million in the process. And it doesn’t appear that they would give up any draft picks, which might allow to later make a trade for Dwight Howard. (They would also get a large trade exception that would help them improve their team and/or eventually trade for Howard.) When the Lakers got Pau Gasol (at the time considered an extremely lopsided trade) they took on tens of millions in additional salary and luxury tax and they gave up a number of prospects (one in Marc Gasol who may become a max-salary player).
I just don’t see how we can allow this trade to happen.
I know the vast majority of owners feel the same way that I do.
When will we just change the name of 25 of the 30 teams to the Washington Generals?
So much for the league claiming that opposing owners had nothing to do with vetoing the deal.