NBA commissioner David Stern admitted Sunday that he could have done a better job of explaining his reasons for vetoing the proposed trade that would have sent Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Instead, Stern allowed the New Orleans Hornets — who are owned by the NBA until they can be sold — to trade Paul to the Los Angeles Clippers for a package of players highlighted by young guard Eric Gordon.
“I do think I could’ve done a better communications job coming out of it,” Stern said. “I didn’t want to say anything because I didn’t think it was appropriate to be criticizing players who were or could’ve been included because of my role. It’s a job as the owners’ representative I was stuck with.”
Stern said his reasoning was based on the fact that the luxury tax in the new collective bargaining agreement will become more punitive in 2013-14. In light of that, many teams are opting for shorter contracts, and he didn’t like the lengthy contracts the Hornets would have been getting if they had gotten Lamar Odom from the Lakers and Luis Scola, Kevin Martin and Goran Dragic from Houston for Paul.
“Shorter contacts will make more free agents available on the market, and the enhanced tax system will make it more difficult for teams to simply use their resources to get a competitive advantage,” he said.