Nobody can tell you what is going to happen next because nothing like this has ever happened before. All we've got is questions upon questions upon questions. For example.
This is such uncharted territory, it is hard to fathom what comes next. Apparently, all the players who were supposed to have been in the trade have been told to report to their (original) teams for the start of training camp Friday, and where this thing goes from here is anyone’s guess.
Do the Lakers sue? Do the Rockets raise a stink? Do the Celtics get back into the hunt? And if they do, would a subsequent Paul trade get vetoed, too? And what about the reverse domino effect? If Paul was the main domino in everybody’s revamping plans, how will the killing of this deal impact other teams?
It doesn't sound like any of this is going to be wrapped up quickly either. It is like the fans were just starting to get excited for free agency and trades and actual basketball talk again, and the needle goes scratching across the record and it all stops dead.
This couldn't have come at a worse time for the league. Whatever good will the league was trying to nurture by "saving the season" has been torn to shreds. The credibility of the league will now be called into question by everyone and the NBA will now be even more of a punchline.
As one rival executive with strong ties to the league office said, "Stern cared about two things: Selling that franchise for the best possible price; and showing the players that they weren’t going to dictate where teams could trade them.
But now, there’s no way that the league can allow Chris Paul to be traded at all, otherwise Stern is basically deciding where one of the top players in the league is going versus having any fair process." Officials from New Orleans, Houston and Los Angeles were stunned Thursday night. The killed trade had ripple affects everywhere in free agency and potential trades, and literally pushed the market into paralysis on the even of training camps opening up.
I had a good laugh at the Lakers expense when this was announced, but I don't think this is good for anyone at this point.
There are plenty of questions for the Celtics too.
- Can they (and should they) go after Chris Paul again?
- Whatever contingency plans Danny had, will they be sideswiped by "the ripple effects?"
- How is Rajon Rondo going to handle all this? (at least much of the spotlight has been taken away from him now)
- What happens when free agency opens tomorrow? Will we finally get some backup centers on the roster?
- Will Jeff Green and Big Baby still be in "holding patterns" until we can see if there's somewhere to trade them to? Or do they decide to take matters in to their own hands and get free agent deals elsewhere?