Unmade Deal Most Unfair To Rockets


HOUSTON – Here are three things that we know for sure:

— The Hornets will eventually trade Chris Paul somewhere and move on with a rebuilding plan.

— The Lakers will continue being the Lakers, which means they’ll eventually find their way into the running for Paul or Dwight Howard or another high-profile free agent who’ll vault them back into championship contention.

— The Rockets have been kicked in the teeth.

In war, it is often called “collateral damage,” a euphemistic label that does nothing to lessen the pain.

While commissioner David Stern may have had the best interest of the Hornets (he says) in mind and may have been reacting to an outcry from a faction of owners about allowing the Lakers to reload (he denies), at this point the only party to have tangibly suffered is the Rockets, who were caught in the middle.

The Rockets do not have Pau Gasol as the centerpiece of bold makeover plan. They do not the salary cap room to make a max offer to free agent Nene. They do not have last year’s starting center, Chuck Hayes, who bolted to Sacramento during the confusion. And they go back to work in training camp with two players – Kevin Martin and Luis Scola – who know they were not part of the plan for this season.

First-year coach Kevin McHale is in a difficult situation trying to put it all together on the court. But his task is nothing compared to that of general manager Daryl Morey, who has to try to mend fences in his locker room.

Whether the moves to bolster their front line would have lifted the Rockets into the upper reaches of the Western Conference standings or fallen flat is irrelevant. All that matters is that by jumping into the mud puddle and vetoing the original three-team deal, Stern spattered the Rockets badly, tied their hands through the rest of the free-agent process and might have wrecked their season.

Morey has every reason to feel betrayed by the league and Rockets owner Leslie Alexander has every right to go full-Krakatoa on Stern with an eruption that should peel the paint off the walls of the league office.

Call it collateral damage or just a bloody mess in Houston.


  1. sam says:

    we get the 2013 allstar game that proves they screwed us

  2. matthew says:

    So David Stern owns the Hornets essentially?? I’m not even sure I understand why everyone is demanding trades all of a sudden. What happened to keeping your mouth shut and playing your hardest for your team until your contract is up and sign somewhere else through free agency? All this demanding stuff is getting out of hand (CP3 and Howard). It’s a shortened season so how much patience does it take to wait until the end of it. I understand quietly letting your owner know you will test free agency at the end of your contract so if they want to actually get something of value then consider a trade but publicly asking for trades… trying to force your way to Disneyland… seems unprofessional.

  3. VíctorS says:

    Gasol underrated. Nothing new. SMH

  4. toronto area says:

    . . . martin , scola i woulddd beeee realllllllllllllyyyyyyyyyyyyyy maddd lollll

    *shakes head* ROCKETS! LEarn to keep your deals under raps until there finalizedd !!!

  5. Cess says:

    The Rockets might have been screwed in this blocked trade but atleast avoided the league to have 3 or 4 all-star teams and the rest been good or mediocre teams. Whats the point of having that, what about the competetiveness all around the league? Might as well just have 6 teams instead of 30!

  6. TJ says:

    I think it’s all David Stern fail for this deal. It’s time for him to retired. Old brain it’s not working well

  7. MavsFan says:

    My Mavs are still champions…

  8. Michael23 says:

    I understand the Rockets want to upgrade fo a player like Gasol, but giving so much would have hurt the team in the long run. Now whether I am happy or not for the failed trade I don’t know. I feel relieved we did not give so much, but at the same time, how would a rational person play for a team when he knows they do not want you, or they are getting rid of you. The Houston Rockets should have some pride an sue the league immediately and commissioner Stern for the huge damage done the the organization. The Rockets locker room its a mess, totally ruined by the league.

  9. EmPFive says:

    Whether or not a team is better off because of this you’re still missing the point… Stern made a bitch move… A bit abusive of him.

  10. SixOne says:

    What goes around comes around. Not treating TMAC with the respect that he deserved shows how much it hurts to get kicked where it hurts.

  11. Derek Jr says:

    Rockets r stupid for thinking that was an ok trade, that’s y we’re in the whole we’re in now. Trading 3 decent players for one washed up on….. I glad the trade didn’t go threw for the benefit of Houston. (Unfair my azz, we got saved)

  12. Lakerfan89 says:

    Any fan that’s not a Laker needs to just shut up because you sound stupid. Scola, Martin? They are role players at best. They’re good, but roleplayers. Just because they started in Houston don’t mean they’re starters for every team. Second off Gasol is an allstar with no health injuries. He’s turning 32 with atleast 3-4 good years left. See Tim Duncan, or Garnett. Age isn’t nothing.

    Third is the simple fact that if this was any other team in the CP3 trade all you haters would still by crying because your team can’t get intelligent enough to make smart trades. Houston, and NOH would have gotten stronger. We would remain even with giving 2 big men away for one PG.

    Also there’s Laker fans then bandwagon fans… also to all the morons who say we didn’t want Gasol gone until last year. Let me correct you we love Gasol, but ever since that finals loss to Boston I knew he wasn’t going to remain a Laker. Yes… we won a ring with him, but that’s just one. All last year was trade talk for Howard so Bynum, and Gasol both can’t be too surprised at trade talks. Since the whole year was built toward the offseason moves of Howard, and CP3.

    And here’s another thing since people typing without common sense is the fact that Rockets would of replaces Martin, and Scola with cap salary they would have saved. Would have got Nene to pair with Gasol, and please tell me what’s unfair? All I hear is a bunch of haters, and dumb HEAT fans that need to worry less about us, and more about their diva choke artist they have.

    Mark my words… CP3 will go to clippers for this year (so he’ll already be in LA) then we’ll get howard. Have cap room for CP3 next year, and we’ll sign him. Better yet we can do a sign & trade with the clippers Iafter they trade for Cp3. ‘m sure they would want a big man after giving up what they would give for CP3. So who’s laughing now haters??

    • Lakerfan89 says:

      I meant two rings with Gasol, but he only earned that last one. Just got off night shift, tired as hell… bottom line if CP3 goes to clippers, he’ll be coming to Lakers. Not because of the city, or stadium, but because we’ll trade with the clippers, and say screw you to the NBA and the haters.

  13. Andrew says:

    I hear dumb fans that need to be q

  14. Magic13 says:

    Trading Scola (and Martin!!) for Gasol is absolutly nonsense… Rockets President of Basketball Operations should be looking for a new job at most 2 years from that decisison.

  15. Kaare says:

    i despise mr. Stern. i do not think he has the league in his best interest. I sincerly hope Mr. Paul sues and wins.

  16. Alon says:

    Why the Rockets need that deal anyway?they get a center (with 3 years the most) but will loss the star players of the team. bad deal to start with!

  17. kelvin Chan says:

    I reckon Laker should be more considerable. If you are Paul Gasol , would you like going to rocket? He is more willing to get one other ring , isn’t he?

  18. Ian L says:

    Time to close rank. Whoever that are still carrying Rockets flag at each and every game should fight hard and contribute his best to the game. This would earn the respect from every past, present and future employer, colleague and fan.

  19. LAfan says:

    Heatwave, better shut off, if you are a heat fan, i think you are insecured of the trade because you are afraid to loss to LA and fail again to win a championship..whicH Lebron used to do…in fact you are lucky enough to acquire two additional great superstar last season and seems you are still not confident enough, maybe you still want CP3 to join your team or KB24 to help you win a championship..

    • killin it says:

      Heatwave is a Heat fan, so be it, but he’s right. You lakers fans start pointing fingers the moment you lose, Gasol was playing ridiculous minutes throughout the whole season and during the playoffs, and he is injury prone so of course the Lakers got swept. However with Phil leaving and the triangle system being a horrid offense for everyone bar Kobe, players stopped playing hard, so given the first chance jerry buss would have sen him packing for some fresh legs. You are smoking a hell of a lot of crack if you think this was a good deal for NO or Houston. I wouldn’t even trade Luis Scola for Gasol, let alone kevin martin or both. That’s stupid, both players have many seasons left in them, Scola is a grittier player than Gasol and Kevin Martin as mentioned earlier was efficient as a mofo last season. That deal was like Chicago trading Boozer for say, Dirk and Jason Terry and in the process freeing up ludicrous amounts of cap space. Completely implausible, and if I was Mark Cuban I’d vomit at the proposal.

  20. Old Man says:

    what if Lakers had Bryant, Deron Williams, Howard, Gasol and World Peace this year as a starting lineup?

  21. alexe says:

    you guys have anything better to do?

  22. Jon says:

    I think they should pull a indianapolis colts and screw this season totally go for last place and get some high draft picks next year and start off with a new crew

  23. Vincent says:

    Rockets is in a bad situation because they are a mediocre team, they are always in the middle of the Western Conference.

  24. scott jones says:

    this is an absolute tragedy, someone tell me when stern became a dictator instead of a commissioner. If the teams involved in the trade were happy then the deal is done. If stern wants to single handedly run the league and every decision made in it, then get rid of all GM’s and we will have all the teams run by stern.
    It takes away from the mental edge, the competitiveness and the intelligence of the GM’s having him do this.
    I use to like stern(use to, before this new CBA) but now i say let bettman from the NHL take over. itleast hes not ruining teams chances at winning and crushing fans WORLDWIDE. David Stern, back off….let the players play, coaches coach, and GM’s dictate the future of their franchises. this is a disgrace.

  25. ChrisO says:

    Besides Gasol is an enemy of the rockets…he’s an a-hole!!! Would the Rockets fans have been ok with a trade to get Karl Malone back in the day??? John Stockton??? I mean, look, some guys you just don’t trade for…If Gasol was still a dominant force like he was with MEMPHIS then ok….if we had another superstar to go along with like a Kobe…then yah, ok…otherwise, this trade was stupid for my Rox

  26. ChrisO says:

    The LA Lakers aren’t stupid…they weren’t dumping Gasol if they think he’s still a legit player…they know he’s getting old and frankly, he didn’t do the trick last year to get them a ring along with Kobe so they’re going another route before he gets too old and injured (Gasol that is…Kobe too, really). That’s what good teams do..they con stupid teams (this team unfortunately being my Rockets at the moment) into taking a “centerpiece” that is about to break down for all these players…in this case, the Hornets were gonna make out the winner with everything they were gettin and the Lakers were gonna get another superstar to make their next run in Paul….It was an awful deal for the Rockets…I cannot believe other rockets fans bought in to this awful deal…martin and scola are worth more than that (not to even mention Dragic and the 1st round pick???!!!) sorry…

  27. RED Rising says:

    Why does everyone feel the rockets have to absolutely. no matter what, have to trade martin and scola? Neither want to leave or are even emotionally hurt. They are both still valuable to the team. I still feel like scola is a good piece(as well as budinger, an awesome glamour piece) to have on the trading bloc, but martin does absolutely need to stay! He was consistently the league’s second most efficient scorer behind kobe bryant, and he has an amazing 90% free throw. HE is the reason the rockets could score so heavily and provided in the clutch as much as lowry did. He is essential to the rockets’ success and if they run the same scheme, he WILL be needed. There are few, if any, like him. Unfortunately, Marc Gasol is no longer an option and they have to sign dalembert, but now they have yet still a lot of cap space for future trades before the deadline. For now, dalembert can act as the rockets’ perkins and just box out and score 10 points a game. It’s a formula that can still work, especially since the rockets are a bunch of ‘overperformers’ who will certainly do it again. With Kevin McHale it either go better or worse, probably better, and t will looks like he’s making a go for super minutes and, to me, looks like at least a 20 ppg scorer and a potential great defender if given enough minutes. However patterson being hurt does SUCK!

  28. Brendan says:

    You guys fail to realise that there are more than two teams in this trade. Yes the players may have benefited the hornets player wise for a few years but when a team is not run by a sole owner, teams do not play to win, they play to make money. The hornets, being owned by the NBA, would have sold far less tickets and generated tonnes less revenue for quite a long time if they lost Chris Paul and since this league is all about money, why would they voluntarily lose money?

  29. JCRockets says:

    On my opinion, it would be a suicide of they traded Luis Scola and Kevin Martin. These two players are considered the star players for the Rockets. They don’t need a big star like Pau Gasol just to fill in the position left by Yao Ming. It is like buy 1 then take 2. That doesn’t make any sense, they need to build their team around these two players, then maybe their rookies will step up together with Chase, Kyle, Patrick, Courtney and Terence. Unfortunately, they lost 2 defensive specialists such as Chuck and Shane. Maybe it would be better and if it is still possible, they can run after Marc Gasol instead.

  30. T-mo says:

    WOw, everyone needs to chill out. Why are people so die-hard over acquiring certain players? Why not be super pumped we have a season and that for the Rockets they have 2 fundamental players who are worth their metal and now playing under the tutelage of one of the greatest centre’s ever! Personally, if I was trading Paul to the Lakers, I would want Kobe and someone else. No one person is worth what Paul is worth on the Lakers team, and the rockets would have been burned to get rid of so much for just Lamar Odom or Pau Gasol (neither of which in their prime any more).

    To me, Stern’s reaction indicated that he was not allowing the Lakers to bully other teams for stars, and if they do, they are not bullying “the leagues” team.

    ummm go Raptors!!

  31. Tom says:


  32. Dunnab says:

    I cannot agree more to this unfair veto by david stern. In respect to the players, gasol would’ve given the rockets a great advantage and also to the hornets, goran dragic would’ve been a wonderful point guard, possibly creating the same pick and role formula steve nash and amare’ enjoyed for so many years. With a quick point guard and a great forward in odom, what was the real loss for the hornets?

    It’s sad, when small market teams land all-star players, they want to keep them as a marquee player as long as they can milk them for ticket sales and packed seats. I’ll be reasonable, I understand that the main reason Stern vetoed the trade was behind the complaints from small market owners that the stars were moving to ‘glamor’ teams. Excuse me, players off of the Dallas Mavericks left for other teams for either a)more money or b) opportunities to play with other players.

    Yes, I believe that team owners should have the ability to trade for the best deal within interest of the organization and no other outside ‘opinion’ should influence that (dan gilbert) because the moment a player realizes he’s played 10 years with a single franchise and has failed to make it to the playoffs or he has yet to be surrounded by players of his caliber who care very little about playing as hard or as well as your star player, then he’s going to want to leave.

    So, really, stern kind of made things worse and really left the rockets out of a potential deal that would’ve helped and Chris Paul is going to walk away to free agency anyway, post-poning the inevitable? How about a 4 team trade, send Ron Artest and Andrew Bynum to Orlando in exchange for Howard, Lamar Odom would go to the hornets, Pau Gasol goes to the rockets. Houston rockets trade Dragic, Scola and Kevin Martin to the hornets. Possibly clear up some cap space and leave lamar odom and send either steve blake or derek fisher to orlando or houston or a first round draft pick.

    It could work!

  33. I'mOnOnE says:

    I’m a L.A. fan to the fullest. So I would of liked to see L.A. get Chris Paul. No offensive to Dwight Howard, but we need a great PG rather than a great Center. Especially when we already have an okay center in Bynum. Also, why didn’t L.A go after Baron Davis for say Metta World Peace (Ron Artest)… I’m just saying, Davis is a California native too.

    • scott jones says:

      thatd be sick…..baron wud make them contenders right away

    • HeatWave says:

      Yes you are one 1 if you think Baron Davis is the answer to LA’s point guard problem. His glory days ended with the Warriors. Speaking of which, they should be after Ellis if Golden State is still trying to get rid of him.

      • Rocket33 says:

        Monta Ellis? Kobe’s already upset with the Lakers for trading Odom. Imagine if they brought in a ballhog log Ellis. I think you’d see Kobe asking for a trade request within minutes…

  34. Jason says:

    Fran, you speak the truth!

    No matter the intentions that the league had in mind, the consequences are that the league is a mess, and the fact is that David Stern’s legacy has been tarnished by this year’s free agency and lockout.

    Like Dwyane Wade said, this year makes last year look normal.

  35. Number1Houstonrocketsfan says:

    As you can see I am the number 1 Houston Rockets fan :)… Hope the Rockets can make it to the playoffs this season

  36. DRACZ says:

    i think chris paul and the hornets should do legal actions to MR DAVID STERN..

  37. HeatWave says:

    Are we going to have to hear about “the deal that almost was” all season, or just until LA gets what they want? Personally I don’t think anyone has any right to complain or be upset except for Paul, Gasol and Odom. The three guys who had their futures presented to them, then cut off just like that. Rockets have no reason to be mad. If anything they should be thankful they did not give up their best players for one PF. No offense to Gasol who I think is a great player, but what would Houston have done with Gasol once the main scorers leave? All the other useful stars and players are being traded as we speak. So why settle for a 30+yr old player when you have some young guys to build off of and hopefully pull a star out of the draft in a few years. Anyhow let them cry over it because in the end they got saved BIG TIME.

    On another note can someone please send Howard to LA so we can stop hearing fans say how unfair the league is or dumb Stern is. It surprises me that LA fans are so gun-ho about these trades when just last season when LA was marching into the playoffs they had no complaints about anyone on their squad. But when a surprising sweep came in the 2nd round their attitudes quickly changed about those players who brought them two championships. Really I have no understanding of how a LA fan thinks but if I could sum it up into one word it would be ungrateful.

    • TIMBERRRwolves says:

      AMEN to that

      • Dirty-D says:

        No Spoiled is a better word. Magic was the spoiler. After you have a guy go out and play hard every game for years, it’s hard to look a a half hearted effort from anyone. Lamar, Gasol, O’Neal, or anyone else! kobe included. Do your best and let that ride. not a half hearted, we should win because we are the champs attitude! Thats why they arent happy. OKC did their best and it wasent good enough. I would take that over last years efforts anytime.

    • Clutchcity4life says:

      How in the hell do you see that the NBA saved anyone. The rockets plan was to get gasol, a legit top 3 big man, and make room for Nene. The two of them would give the rockets a legit frontcourt that would cause problems for alot of people. Gasol himself is worth Martin and Scola, but Gasol and Nene are for sure worth those two. That is how you have to look at the trade. You lose two pieces that you dont need, and clash with the new coach since they dont play D, and get two better ones. Since you also have 5 guys that play SG and SF on the bench the loss of Martin and Scola would actually benifit the Rockets and not urt them. All the NBA did was cripple any chance hte rockets had of trying to make a move this year. You need to learn how to see the whole picture before opening your mouth with an uniformed useless OPINION!

      • HeatWave says:

        Man you don’t know what you’re talking about. Rockets were never originally after Gasol. LA decided to offer him up so that they could work out a deal with NO. Up until two weeks ago Gasol had no idea he might be traded. So someone sold the Rockets on the idea of taking Gasol. So don’t act like this was some master plan setup a long time ago. Depending on who you like, this trade either made no sense, or perfect. Obviously LA fans think that everyone was walking away happy since they would be getting what they wanted. but fore me what I see is Houston giving up Martin, Scola + simple to get Pau Gasol. You think Nene is going to join Houston simply because they got Pau Gasol? LMAO. Well I guess it makes sense cause you LA fans and the owner figured that this original trade was perfect as well.

      • ChrisO says:

        I agree with the poster you’re complaining to…I am a die-hard rockets fan..have been for a while…Gasol is an injury waiting to happen…he’s 32 years old he was gonna go Yao Ming us in a season or so and we’d have no backcourt scoring…yah we’d have size at the 4 and 5 but then what do we have at 2? What do we have that is gonna mold this team together? Gasol is overrated by himself. YOU need to get the picture. I was thanking the heavens this thing didn’t go thru…Gasol is a complimentary player at this point in his career…He’s not a Nowitzki…he’s more of a Pippen…and in Houston he’d be a Pippen without his “Jordan” and well, the Rockets know all about that….That trade was too much just for Gasol. I’m not totally against getting Gasol but we were giving away WAY too much to get him…

      • Clutchcity4life says:

        Sooooo, first off Clutch city does not refer to LA. Second, Morey (the GM in Houston) has been after a superstar since the very beginning of his tenure. The whole plan from DAY 1 has been to ge a superstar and build around him. Since Morey is the best GM in the league at finding young and lower paid talent (3 of the best contracts in the league) I can completely trust that he will put the pieces around a superstar to win. The whole problem is finding a star because there are only so many. This has been the ultimate goal, so Gasol was always wanted in Houston. Get over yourself and your opinion that you know everything. It is very obvious to anyone that has a clue that you are missing one.

    • Lmao.. says:

      actually….there was a lot of hate on Gasol all throughout the playoffs. Lots of LA fans were saying trade Gasol for Howard. But Lakers fans are mad at the Paul trade because he’s probably the best available point guard the Lakers could pick up and Fish is getting up there (also highlighted last season). So I think Lakers fans have some room to be upset..granted they’re still a playoff contender regardless, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have holes on the team that COULD’VE been fixed through trade, but ONLY didn’t happen because Stern shut it down. It’s the principle of the thing.

      • HeatWave says:

        Yeah, the hate came when you guys saw Gasol performing bad. Not in 09, not in 10, not anytime before you lost last season. So do everyone a favor and stop lying to yourself.

      • TIMBERRRwolves says:

        That just justifies HeatWave’s first comment. Lakers fans are quick to blame Gasol for their early playoff demise, when it was really just a lack of concentration and effort from the entire team, thinking they were champions. In the Paul-trade, not only would they have lost Gasol, without whom the Lakers would not have been in the finals the last three years, but also Odom, their only reliable 6th man.

    • Winner says:

      Finally for LA fans who are always moaning about their team. Get Howard, the Phil Jackson era is done so championships are over for LA.

    • sublogic says:

      yeah right.. am I supposed to believe you weren’t calling lebron for missing his 4th quarters? I’ve heard it from a wave of Heat fans over the summer.. I bet you’re no exception

      • HeatWave says:

        Yeah you hear from guys on a blog who you don’t know jack about. They could be fans or trolls who knows? I’m a real Heat fan and was PISSED that James did so bad in the finals. Do I want him traded. NO!

  38. John says:

    Sounds like it. They need to do something. I think they can still get something for Martin or Scola.

  39. George Uchiha says:

    So i guess the plan for the Rockets was that through the Paul trade they would get Gasol and salary room to get Nene, while at the same time getting rid of players who caused problems in the locker room and getting space to sign free agents. Not bad. This proves that they were not getting screwed by the Paul trade, but they sure are now , unless Paul wins the lawsuit. If not, they better find an escape flan quick, or they really are gonna be low in the final standings.

  40. Victor Manoel says:

    “Basketball reasons”.

  41. George Thomas says:

    Yes , The leage betrayed Houston Rockets organizations , its fans and the people in the City. We have to have a legal answer for this