The trade has been nixed, and not much can be done about that, absent the league changing its mind (which, to me, seems the most prudent move in order to save face). Now there are three franchises left wondering what the next step is.
The big question, I think, is if Chris Paul is trade-able. If the league approves a different variation of a CP3 trade, it will stink of corruption aimed at keeping him from going to LA. If he is not traded, however, the league has driven the prospect of extracting value from him at all in to the ground. This leaves Dell Demps with one of the most unenviable jobs in sports.
If he is traded, I don't understand why he wasn't traded to Houston. I can't imagine Lamar Odom is the deal breaker in that kind of scenario. Furthermore, if I'm Daryl Morey, I do what I can to get Chris Paul here, sign a center and try to keep Kevin Martin off the table in future negotiations. While some think 'you put any and everything on the table for a top 5 player,' you have to keep in mind he's also a free agent; subsequently, you need to set up a team around him now that is going to make serious noise in the playoffs. Otherwise, he will leave without hesitation. New Orleans, with the exception of one season a few years back, has never provided him with that atmosphere.
Houston, with the right moves, can. If we amnesty Thabeet, we will have close to 12 million in cap space, all of which can be offered to a guy like Deandre Jordan (Clippers offer is 5 years 40 million, so roughly 8mill a year). From there, you trade Lowry, Scola and picks to the Hornets for Paul. That leaves you with the groundwork for a good, young team. If Paul stays, you watch him make Jordan, Patterson, Hill, Budinger and Martin in to better players, and a few moves later we could end up with another elite piece. If he goes, you only have long-term money tied up in your young and talented center (since Martin would be coming off the books) and once again could be aggressive in free agency.
This, however, is contingent on the league being ok with letting New Orleans trade Paul, so long as it's not to a dynasty-like team.
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