In a wide-ranging radio interview Friday, Dallas Mavericks owner Marc Cuban explained why he agreed with David Stern's decision to veto the trade of Chris Paul from New Orleans:
"We just had a lockout, and one of the goals of the lockout was to say that small-market teams now have a chance to keep their players, and the rules were designed to give them that opportunity," Cuban said. "So to all of a sudden have a league-owned team trade their best player, particularly after having gone out and sold a ton of tickets in that market, that's not the kind of signal you want to send."
"Then, part two of that is all the rules of what you can and can't do under the new CBA weren't finalized until yesterday, so how do you really make a strategic decision until you know all the rules?"
"I mean, obviously, I wouldn't have been happy, but I would have understood because it was a conversation a lot of owners had long before the Laker deal was consummated," Cuban said. "It was like, 'Look, sure, I'd love him. Give him to me in a heartbeat.' But the whole idea of the lockout was to prevent stuff like that.
"Players will always have the right to choose what they want to do as a free agent, but the players agreed to rules that said, 'You know what? Let's give the home team, the incumbent team an extra advantage.' And that's how the rules were designed, and I think they are going to work."
As Cuban acknowledges, Paul still has the opportunity to choose where he wants to play in free agency next summer, although how the New Orleans franchise will be able to trade him now and prevent him from leaving for nothing is an open question.