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Is it Christmas Yet?

December 13, 2011

With a shortened 66 game season 2 weeks away, the NBA offseason has been crazy to say the least.  Teams are desperately trying to improve their chances at the Larry O’Brien Trophy.  An unprecedented veto of a trade by league commissioner David Stern, Tyson Chandler heads to the east coast, and the CP3/Dwight Howard trade rumors highlight a bizarre offseason.

Last week, the Lakers, Rockets, and Hornets agreed to a three team trade that sent Chris Paul to Los Angeles.  Luis Scola, Kevin Martin, and a first round pick were to be given to New Orleans, while Pau Gasol was to be shipped to Houston.  The trade brought discontent among other NBA owners, who protested the trade to Stern.  The Hornets, who are currently owned by the NBA, buckled from outside pressure and cancelled the trade.  The trade was vetoed due to “basketball reasons.”  This move set a dangerous precedent; now there is no “black and white,” only grey area on what constitutes a fair trade.

The botched trade left the Lakers with a disgruntled Lamar Odom, who requested a trade afterwards.  In a curious move, LA sent Odom to their rival, the Dallas Mavericks for a draft pick and over $8 million in trade exception money.  My only explanation for the Lakers gift wrapping the reigning 6th Man of the Year to the defending champions is that they have another move up their sleeve.  My guess is they are going after Orlando superstar Dwight Howard.  Will the Lakers have to give up too much for the talented center though?  A Pau Gasol/Andrew Bynum swap for Dwight Howard/ Hedo Turkoglu works financially for both teams.  However, a Dwight/Kobe + spare parts team is worse off than last year’s squad that got swept in the Conference Semifinals.  Lakers GM Mitch Mupchak has insisted that everyone on the roster (with the exception of Kobe Bryant of course) can possibly be traded in order to improve the team.  Only time will tell if the Lakers can take advantage of the aging Bryant, as his years of peak production are fading…

Tyson Chandler is headed east to the New York Knicks.  The former Maverick’s presence will beef up a thin frontcourt and provide much needed defense.  The Knicks also signed veteran guard Mike Bibby, to offset the loss of Chauncey Billups via amnesty clause.  This puts the Knicks in great position to add depth and compete with the Miami Heat (Possibly Jamal Crawford??).  The Knicks are a rapidly improving basketball team; the future looks bright for Knicks fans…

What an offseason for Chris Paul?  After the botched trade to the Lakers, the destination of the all-star is unknown.  Rumors are now swirling around a possible trade to the LA Clippers.  Negotiations have stalled however; sources say the Hornets are asking for too much for CP3.  With the Lakers removing themselves from the CP3 sweepstakes, that leaves the Magic, Clippers, and Knicks as the remaining preferred destinations for Paul.  Will the Hornets find a suitable trade for Chris Paul, or will he walk out the door via free agency a la LeBron?

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