Fallacy #1-- The New Orleans Hornets can't let CP3 walk and so they should trade him Rational Thinking: With the new salary cap (and with the old to some degree) owners can call the bluff of a demanding star. If the Hornets keep Paul this year and let him go to free agency, then they are the only ones who can offer him a 5 year deal with 7.5% raises. This ends up being a pile of cash. If they trade him, he gets that with whatever "Super Team" by which the Hornets get hoodwinked. Additionally, they get to keep him a year and make money off of him and he has to play well (to some degree) since it is a contract year for him. Hence, you aren't "letting him walk" they are calling a bluff and forcing him to choose between where he wants to go and more money. Amazingly, players tend to go with money.
Fallacy #2-- The New Orleans Hornets were getting the best deal they will get. Rational Thinking: Odom, KMart, Scola, etc. are not going to make them a good team. They will be a mediocre team with a lot of cash tied up in good roll players. The best deal they can get are picks and low-salary player OR Picks and a equal salary of decent players with relatively short contracts. This way they can at least have future opportunities in drafts and free agency (I know, no one will ever go to NO in FA)
Fallacy #3-- The Lakers gave up a lot to get Paul. Rational Thinking: The Lakers got an All-Star point guard for the next year to pair with Kobe and Bynum. They got below the salary cap by getting rid of long-term, high-dollar contracts and a trade exception; hence, they can be a part of FA signings in the next years as well as trades for other star players (Here is looking at you Howard). Additionally, they can offer CP3 a better salary than can anyone else.
Fallacy #4-- Stern's reaction was a kneejerk to the response of the owners. Rational Thinking: Stern is in charge of the NO Hornets until they are sold. Anyone who thinks that Mark Cuban doesn't have final say in a possible trade is insane. Stern knows the economics of the new CBA and knows the benefits of keeping or trading Paul. This is why any trade made will involve near equal salary or a large number of picks. If there was a response to the owners is was a response to suggestions by the owners that it would not be good business for NO to end flexibility before selling the team. They know that the Hornets will be sold for more if either 1) The team has CP3 or 2) It has flexibility in the future, but definitely not 3) A mediocre team with no flexibility or star power.