CLEVELAND - The NBA lockout officially ended on Thursday after 161 days when owners and players agreed on a new collective bargaining agreement.
The last day of the lockout before free agency started Friday was marked by chaos over a potential trade involving All-Star Chris Paul. The plan would have sent the New Orleans point guard to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Commissioner David Stern denied reports that the league caved to pressure from the owners to stop the trade. Currently, the NBA is the owner of the New Orleans Hornets, which complicated talks.
Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, who has been outspoken since LeBron James’ dramatic departure from the team last summer, sent an email to Stern about the possible Paul trade. Below is the text of the letter, which was obtained by Yahoo! Sports :
"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?
Cleveland fans took to Twitter Friday morning to voice their disappointment with Gilbert's action. Some fans said they like Gilbert, but he's wrong about this. Others said Gilbert had to voice his opinion.
What do you think about how the Cavs owner handled the situation? Tell us in the comment section or on our Facebook page .
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