NBA.com staff reports
After the NBA scuttled a potential three-team deal between the Lakers, Hornets and Rockets that would have put All-Star guard Chris Paul in the Lakers’ purple and gold, plenty of critics piped up around the league with opinions far and wide on the deal. After everyone calmed down — including Hornets GM Dell Demps, who was reportedly “disconsolate” over the deal falling through — the Hornets resumed negotiations on a new deal to get the most they could for their superstar guard.
Our man David Aldridge burned the midnight oil to file this report, in which he says progress is being made on a deal to trade Paul to Los Angeles … but it might be a while before anything really happens:
A source directly involved in the negotiations told TNT’s David Aldridge Friday that progress had been made in a potential trade of Chris Paul from the New Orleans Hornets to the Los Angeles Lakers. However, the trade was not expected to be completed Friday and could have several more incarnations before being completed, if it is completed at all.
The trade may or may not ultimately involve the Houston Rockets, who were part of the initial version of the three-team deal, which was vetoed by NBA Commissioner David Stern Thursday night. In that version, the Hornets would send Paul, a four-time All-Star, to the Lakers. The Lakers would send forward Pau Gasol to Houston, and send forward Lamar Odom to New Orleans. The Hornets would receive forward Luis Scola, guards Kevin Martin and Goran Dragic and a 2012 first-round pick from Houston. But now, the deal could involve more or different teams that can provide the Hornets with the combination of young players and additional Draft picks that the league is seeking for Paul.
The league — which purchased the Hornets in December, 2010, in order to find a potential buyer for the team that would keep the team in New Orleans — thought the Hornets had to do better in order to approve the trade. The Hornets’ management team believed it could convince the NBA to sign off on the deal, as it had in previous transactions, if it went to the Lakers and Rockets and got more assets. It is believed that the Lakers have committed to include more future Draft picks to the Rockets in order to make the deal happen, and the Hornets would have to make additional moves to get additional assets.
The deal will not be completed, however, until Lakers owner Jerry Buss recuperates further from the blood clots that required him to be hospitalized earlier in the week. Buss is expected to be released from a hospital in the next couple of days.
What other teams get involved and who ultimately is shipped where in this deal is anyone’s guess at this point, though. But things are progressing again.