DALLAS _ Mark Cuban criticized the NBA for allowing the league-owned New Orleans Hornets to trade superstar point guard Chris Paul over the offseason to the Los Angeles Clippers.
NBA commissioner David Stern stepped in and vetoed a three-team trade that had the Los Angeles Lakers shipping Lamar Odom to the Horntes and Pau Gasol to the Houston Rockets. In return, New Orleans was trading Paul to the Lakers, and the Hornets would received Kevin Martin, Luis Scola, Goran Dragic and a first-round draft pick from the Rockets.
Most criticis thought the deal was a win, win, win for the Lakers, Hornets and Rockets. But Stern thought otherwise, and put the brakes on the proceedings.
"I don't think it was about the Lakers, per se," Cuban said Monday night. "I think it was just the way they did the deal, which was ridiculous.
"I don't think it was about which team. I think it was the fact that, even with the Clippers, we just went through this whole (new collective bargaining agreement) and said the incumbent team still has the advantage and then the team the league owns (fades) out, and look how it's worked out for them.''
The financially-strapped Hornets are being run by the NBA. And on Dec. 14 they eventually traded Paul and two first-round draft picks to the Los Angeles Clippers for Chris Kaman, Eric Gordon, Al-Farouq Aminu .
"Bad management gets you bad results,'' Cuban said. "It's hard to judge any trade until it's done.
"It's about the concepts involved and the integrity of what we went through for the CBA. That's what it's all about. (The NBA office) screwed the pooch either way. The whole idea about having most of these rules is that you'd have an advantage and wouldn't have to trade people."
-- Dwain Price
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