The Lakers picked-up a 1st round draft pick from Dallas for Odom.
They say the talks for Chris Paul are off, but wasn't one of Sterns mandates that the Hornets get younger in the deal for Paul to the Lakers? Perhaps Stern didn't want Odom's age and contract on the Hornet's roster. I guess a deal can still get done for Paul without Odom in the package. I mean, if the deal were to go through as it was proposed (the 2nd deal) it would have looked a lot like the first deal.
If Stern allowed the second deal to go through, then he would come off looking like he did a foolish (he did look foolish) thing by shooting down the first deal because it was basically the same as the second deal. The man has to save face in all this madness. Eliminating Odom from the deal would make it look more legit if the Lakers included the trade exception they got from Dallas and the 1st rounder, too.
I mean, check out this tweet:
"John Hollinger tweets he is confused by the Lakers strategy if Howard is their target. "Any exception created by dealing Odom isn't big enough to take in Turkoglu. I'm not seeing LA's endgame here, nor why Dallas would help."
The end game probably still has Paul going to the Lakers, but without Odom going to the Hornets. That way the deal looks like it was really reworked. Everything, including the leak that talks between the Lakers, Hornets, and Rockets have broken off, has to look as if it went through the wringer with the league. Remember, first and foremost, David Stern is about marketing, and he and the product need to look good. Either that or Stern is way out of control.