NEW YORK, N.Y., July 31 — The New Orleans Hornets traded Chris Paul today, weeks after speculation began about the future of the All-Star point guard. Paul was sent to the Detroit Pistons in exchange for reserve forward Chris Wilcox, who played sparingly for the Pistons last year. NBA commissioner David Stern approved the one-sided trade, even though its parameters egregiously violate the NBA collective bargaining agreement. League sources speculated that Stern's decision was motivated by the prospect of creating an Eastern Conference rival for the Miami Heat, the team that recently signed LeBron James and Chris Bosh, along with several other free agents.
Paul becomes the best Pistons point guard since Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas. The transaction also burnishes the reputation of Detroit general manager Joe Dumars—Thomas's backcourt partner during the 1980s—who made a series of questionable moves after his franchise's 2004 championship. Dell Demps, the Hornets's new general manager, will likely face severe criticism for trading away his best player, especially if he elects to trade Wilcox again before the end of the 2010-11 season. // VIDEO: A New Orleans fan reacts to the trade.