Actually, Russ Granik is the reason I brought this up. I remembered an article in Bloomberg during LeBron's free agency where several people were speculating that LeBron leaving Cleveland would cut the value of the franchise by $250 million, but Russ Granik essentially debunked that idea by saying that individual players have an effect on very short term revenue through ticket sales, sponsorship revenue, and depending on the timing, TV revenue, but have virtually no effect on the long term valuation of franchises.
You understand that what he meant when he said that was "Sure, the Cadavaliers are worthless today, and maybe for a few years as ticket sales stay down, they need to slash the prices of luxury boxes, etc. but eventually they'll be an NBA team again and the revenues will go back up and the franchise will again reach its sale price in value," right?
The problem is that in this particular case
the NBA is planning on having the franchise sale complete within 90 days, and it's actually the short term valuation that matters
And, let's not lose sight of the fact that in the short term the Hornets would have been a better team with Scola, Martin, Odom and Dragic.
What you're losing sight of is that Odom would never have suited up for the Hornets at all. He would never have played a single game for them. Not one. So the 2011 Hornets would have been a worse version of the .500 team that they traded for (the 2011 Rockets). And no one
is paying NBA ticket prices to see Luis Scola and Emeka Okafor lead the Hornets to the 12th-14th pick in the draft.
The trade would have stripped the Hornets of all marketable commodities, and left them no way of acquiring any
. The trade would have ended basketball in New Orleans because no one would have bought a franchise that had no marketable players, no way of charging NBA prices for tickets, and thanks to the long term contracts would be three to four years from bottoming out and actually acquiring marketable players. That's what you're stomping your feet, pouting and refusing to see. Luis Scola's parents won't pay NBA ticket prices to watch him flop, and he'd be the best player on the Hornets because Kevin Martin is generally only available for 60% of the games.
Any owner looking at the gate figures would see that the franchise is hemorrhaging money and say "Tell you what, you assholes pay 100% of all those shitty contracts and I'll give you 250 large for the privilege of losing money for the next five years until I can dig myself out of this fucking hole you assholes put this franchise in by trading a superstar for $76 fucking million
in dead salary." The Lakers and Rockets got greedy and attempted to dump all their shitty contracts on the Hornets, they have no right, legal, ethical, or moral, to expect the other 27 owners to pay their way. The other 27 owners were absolutely right to tell them to go fuck themselves.
But this trade hasn't made it a certainty that the Hornets are back to respectability anytime soon anymore so than landing Al Jefferson did for Minnesota. A lot will have to break right for New Orleans, and they'll have to use those draft picks wisely.
But, see, in Minnesota they wanted Jefferson because he was a marketable asset. He had the pretty post game that made all the fans ooh and ah over and that people paid NBA ticket prices for. "Getting back to respectability" was a secondary consideration for the franchise (in fact they've pretty much had no interest in it until this year when they don't have yet another first to sell the heck out of to the local market). Just as in Boston winning a title was a secondary consideration to the owners, they were only interested in turning a profit. After 2008 they made no moves to sign someone over 6'6" (aside from the late season waiver wire special of the execrable Mikki Moore) and let the depth players depart. Why? Because it's always about the benjamins.
To reiterate, my point in all of this was just to say that with a buyer lined up, I really, highly doubt that the outcome of this trade had any bearing on the price at which the Hornets were being purchased. We're talking about a $300 million dollar asset that may be owned for 30 some odd years.
There's a zero percent chance that they get their purchase price back with the original trade, and a negligible chance that whatever investment group they've lined up holds the franchise for 30 years. For one, whatever loan they use to buy the team will come due in 10 or 15 years and they'll be looking to cash out then. Guys like Jerry Buss and Mark Cuban are the exceptions, Grousbeck & Son are the rule of thumb in the NBA these days (and it is by design as the league continuously rejects attempts by guys like Ellison to join the billionaire boys club, the only exception being the Brooklyn Nyets as Ratner's group needed capital to finance the Atlantic Yards development).