Did David Stern do the right thing for the New Orleans franchise by not allowing Dell Demps to go through with the Lakers trade netting Goran Dragic, Kevin Martin, Lamar Odom, and Luis Scola?
Kevin Barrios: Yes. The initial trade would have likely lead to a contender for the 8th seed for a few more years — which may have been fun in the short term — but would have not gotten us that next level star to attempt to build a franchise around. Dragic is the only player from that deal that could still potentially be a nice piece to have, but even he hasn't been consistent enough or impactful enough to offset the loss of a top 10 player. Though this deal would have likely halted Harden to Houston and probably would have kept the Clippers irrelevant while providing a lot of in-fighting on the Lakers — so maybe it would have crippled three Western Conference opponents — but it wouldn't have moved the needle much for New Orleans.
Isaac Constans: I'd love to see statues of David Stern and Paul Tagliabue strung around the city. They're the two men who kept sports in New Orleans post-Katrina, and I'll always be grateful. Stern was flawless in my eyes, and the trade veto was no exception. If that had gone through, the then-Hornets would have been consistently an average team in the NBA without enough future picks to better themselves — thus stuck in eternal OK-ness. I'd rather have a few bad years, and then get back on top. While maybe that cycle hasn't been wholly completed, it's the only way to have championship aspirations. My hat is off to you, Mr. Stern.
Chris Cucchiara: Yes David Stern made the right move for the New Orleans Hornets by rejecting the trade between the Lakers and Hornets. The only people that cannot see this are a) Lakers fans b) media that wanted to see CP3 in a Lakers uniform and 3) Gordon, Aminu and Kaman (based on their memorable picture from their NOLA introductory press conference).
Jamile Dunn: Yes, I think Stern did the right thing. The deal was never as done as the Lakers made it appear, although both Paul and the Lakers REALLY wanted it. At the end of the day Demps attempted to make a short sighted deal that would have allowed the team to be decent in the short term but largely bare of anything resembling young talent over the longer term. I think Stern, acting as the owner rep, felt the team needed some young talent to really be viable. In the end, the Hornets/Pelicans wound up with Anthony Davis and what they thought would be an All-Star shooting guard. Gordon didn't work out, but any deal that adds Davis to the roster is a good one, even if you didn't know the move would have that result when you made the decision.
David Fisher: If you consider David Stern as the majority owner of the then-Hornets at the time, he clearly did well for the franchise as well as the city. The Lakers trade was a full-time ticket to the treadmill of mediocrity. At least, for a period of time, there was legitimate hope surrounding the franchise that appeared to be on an upward path.
Oleh Kosel: That's a difficult question to answer if one believes David Stern violated any of his duties stemming from a conflict of interest. Wearing two hats, one as the league's commissioner and the other as a team's de facto owner, was a bad idea because there didn't exist enough transparency, not with the way his office handled the entire matter by including tidbits like the phrase, "free from the influence of other NBA owners."
Nonetheless, he made the right decision on behalf of the organization because the Hornets needed a chance at a full rebuild instead of pasting together a number of veterans and hoping to reach a level of mediocrity at best. Everything that's happened since — Eric Gordon, Al-Farouq Aminu and Austin Rivers going on to have more success outside of New Orleans — sits squarely on the front office and coaching staffs.
Frank Spiro: The Chris Paul trade, the “…what” heard round the world. I think for the most part, there’s no way to look at this trade without thinking the Pelicans got the best possible outcome — if Demps had traded Paul to the Lakers, New Orleans likely would have won more games in the 2011-2012 season, and Anthony Davis would have landed elsewhere in the draft. The Chris Paul trade was the original tank. And it worked.