Cavaliers Owner Dan Gilbert Wanted Lakers Trade Blocked

Johnnie WaltersDecember 9, 2011

The NBA is back in full effect with plenty of drama as the first day of practice begins.

NBA commissioner David Stern vetoed a deal Thursday that would have traded Los Angeles Lakers Lamar Odom and Paul Gasol as part of a three-team deal for New Orleans Hornets point guard Chris Paul. Odom was going to the Hornets and Gasol was going to the Houston Rockets while Luis Scola, Kevin Martin, Goran Dragic and draft picks to the Hornets.

There were reports that Stern was under pressure from small market owners who complained about unfair trading from bigger market teams. Now, an email has surfaced from Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert that coraburates the reports.

Yahoo! Sports has obtained the email that Gilbert sent to Stern, deputy commissioner Adam Silver and a handful of Gilbert’s ownership peers on Thursday.

The following is the email in its entirety:

Commissioner,

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?

Please advise….

Dan G.

An NBA spokesman said owners “didn’t kill the deal,” instead citing “basketball reasons,” for why the Stern blocked the trade.

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