Donald Sterling Overrode Trade Deadline Deal

  • Mark Evans

Detroit Pistons v Los Angeles Clippers

Many NBA fans were disappointed by the fairly dull trade deadline came and went without any huge deals. Dwight Howard was not dealt, Josh Smith is still in Atlanta, and Danny Ainge didn’t enter a fire sale with his Celtics. And to boot, J.J. Redick was the biggest name that switched teams.

It has now been reported that the Los Angeles Clippers had agreed to a deal that would have sent Caron Butler back to Washington in exchange for Trevor Ariza. Via NBA.com:

The Clips stood pat, but not by their basketball people’s choice. L.A. and Washington had a done deal Wednesday night that would have sent forward Trevor Ariza to the Clippers in exchange for Caron Butler, giving L.A. a long, defensive-oriented body to throw at the likes of Kevin Durant in the playoffs. (Butler, who still has an offseason home in the D.C. area, and who was loved by the locals, didn’t have a problem returning to a non-Arenas Wizards locker room. He’d have been welcomed back as a much-needed offensive option, according to sources.)

But sources indicated that Clippers owner Donald Sterling nixed the deal Thursday morning, not wanting to gamble on the team’s chemistry being affected in any way down the stretch. My interpretation: we don’t want to do anything that could, in any way, be held against us by assistant general manager Chris Paul this summer if we don’t get far in the postseason.

By no means would this have been a big-time trade, but it’s interesting that Donald Sterling went as far as to make sure it didn’t happen. Trevor Ariza would have been a defensive improvement over Butler, which probably would have come in handy come playoff time.

If there’s any owner who would want to step in and prevent a trade like this, it’s Donald Sterling.

-Mark Evans, Assistant Manager/Editor of Content

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