Stern: No outside influence in Paul decision

NBA commissioner David Stern said Friday there team trade that would have sent Chris Paul from New Orleans to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Paul was the center piece of the trade between the Hornets, Lakers and Houston Rockets. Reports indicated that the Hornets would have received forward Lamar Odom from the Lakers and guards Kevin Martin and Goran Dragic and forward Luis Scola from the Rockets. Houston, meanwhile, was said to be landing Pau Gasol from the Lakers.

There were additional reports that some owners were against the deal and swayed Stern to nullify the transaction. Yahoo! Sports obtained an email sent from Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert to Stern, which in part called the proposed deal a "travesty" and urged the commissioner to let the "29 owners of the Hornets" vote on it.

Stern said Friday that other owners' concerns did not factor into the decision.

"Since the NBA purchased the New Orleans Hornets, final responsibility for significant management decisions lies with the Commissioner's Office in consultation with team chairman Jac Sperling," Stern said in a statement. "All decisions are made on the basis of what is in the best interests of the Hornets. In the case of the trade proposal that was made to the Hornets for Chris Paul, we decided, free from the influence of other NBA owners, that the team was better served with Chris in a Hornets uniform than by the outcome of the terms of that trade."

Paul, who can opt out of his current contract with the Hornets after the upcoming season, did not demand a trade. Instead, the Hornets appeared to work out a deal that may have enabled the franchise to acquire talented players rather than lose the All-Star point guard for nothing as a free agent.