Cleveland Cavaliers' owner Dan Gilbert isn't winning himself too many friend after this latest episode.
First, Gilbert made a name for himself for bashing LeBron James. Now he's back in the spotlight for bashing a flagship franchise by stepping in to prevent Chris Paul from playing with the Los Angeles Lakers.
A three-way trade involving the Lakers, Rockets, and the league-owned New Orleans Hornets was nixed by the league on Thursday, and after reading this e-mail from Gilbert, obtained by Yahoo! Sports, it's clear why:
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 would 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?
What Gilbert perhaps failed to realize is that the Rockets and Hornets wanted the deal. It's not as though the Lakers were giving up a pair of nobodies in the deal to land Paul. Pau Gasol is a four-time All-Star, and Lamar Odom is the Sixth Man of the Year. Quality big men are extremely important in the NBA, and the Lakers would be giving up two of them to land a point guard.
This isn't over. The Lakers, Rockets and Hornets are appealing to the league for Stern to reverse the decision, according to ESPN sources.
There is a great deal of speculation that lawsuits and the Players' Association stepping in.
Gilbert's e-mail certainly didn't help matters.