Chris Paul Traded To The L.A. Clippers; Hornets Land Eric Gordon, Coveted Draft Pick And More

It's official: Chris Paul is on his way to Los Angeles to join the Clippers. In return, the New Orleans Hornets received Eric Gordon, Al-Farouq Aminu, Chris Kaman and Minnesota's unprotected 2012 first-round draft pick.

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Mo Williams Appears To Be Clippers' Obvious Amnesty Candidate After Chris Paul Trade

The Los Angeles Clippers have not yet used the amnesty clause. Now that the Chris Paul trade has stacked the team at point guard, the provision should likely be used on eight-year veteran Mo Williams

The Clippers kept second-year point guard Eric Bledsoe in the deal. Bledsoe is injured and likely out for the first month of the season, but L.A. successfully claimed Chauncey Billups off of amnesty waivers on Monday; he, with Paul, should be able to handle the point guard spot just fine, even in Bledsoe's absence.

The Clippers acquired Williams, due $17 million through 2012-13, in a trade that sent Baron Davis to the Cleveland Cavaliers. L.A. also gave up their unprotected first-round pick in the deal; that pick became Kyrie Irving. The Cavs waived Davis under the amnesty clause on Wednesday.

The Clippers wouldn't open up cap space to add additional players by waiving Williams, but should another team claim him off of waivers, L.A. could stand to pay the guard less than that owed $17 million over the next seasons. The team is paying Billups just $2 million this season. L.A. still has its "room exception" to sign another player; the exception is for $2.5 million.

The deadline to use the amnesty clause for this season is Friday.

For more on the Clippers, visit Clips Nation.


Chris Paul Heaps Pressure On Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro

Vinny Del Negro has traditionally existed as an NBA head coach without expectations. He first took the chair in 2008 with the Chicago Bulls. The team was starting a rookie, Derrick Rose, at point guard. There was no expectation to for Del Negro to lead the team to the playoffs ... but he did accomplish that. Expectations rose a bit the following season (though Rose still was not nearly the player we now know him as), but they still weren't high. Del Negro's squad met them, returning to the postseason.

Nonetheless, due to disputes with the front office and the (possibly accurate) sense that Chicago's success was due far more to the players' raw talent than anything V.D.N. offered, the coach was gone. He quickly landed with the L.A. Clippers, where he inherited a rookie Blake Griffin, a young Eric Gordon and a team destined to be a very exciting lottery squad.

As it turns out, the 2010-11 Clippers turned out to be a very exciting lottery squad. 

Expectations are much higher now, higher than they've ever been for Coach Del Negro. With Chris Paul in place, L.A. will be expected to not only make the postseason this year, but do some damage. Clippers GM Neil Olshey hired Del Negro, so there are no particular issues there, but if the team fails to get rolling quickly, Del Negro is the obvious fall guy. This team has the talent to win big, and CP3 is the best floor general in the game. But every good team needs a proper coach, and it remains to be seen whether V.D.N. can accomplish something with a better-than-average squad. We'll see.

For more on L.A., visit Clips Nation.


Chris Paul Trade Leaves Hornets With Salary Cap Space In 2011 And 2012

After executing a trade to send Chris Paul to the L.A. Clippers, the New Orleans Hornets will continue to have some cap space for the waning 2011 free agent session in addition to a boatload of room scheduled for 2012.

The Hornets took Chris Kaman, Eric Gordon, Al-Farouq Aminu and a 2012 draft pick back in exchange for Paul in a trade made official on Wednesday. That gives New Orleans a 2011-12 salary cap figure of $48 million, which is $10 million below the cap. The Hornets are above the league's $46 million payroll floor, so there is no compulsory reason to send any more, though few would argue that the team could use some more help at point guard and power forward.

The outlook for 2012 is pretty similar. The Hornets have five players slated to remain under contract in 2012-13: Al-Farouq Aminu (acquired in the CP3 trade), Emeka Okafor, Jarrett Jack, Trevor Ariza and Quincy Pondexter. (Aminu and Pondexter are under team options, but they are cheap enough to consider guaranteed.) Those players -- plus two project top-seven draft picks -- are slated to earn $37 million between them, leaving a projected $21 million in cap space. But this doesn't account for Eric Gordon, who will be coming off of his rookie deal. The Hornets are expected to make a move to extend Gordon's contract long-term before the January 25, 2012, deadline to do so; one imagines that Gordon's 2012-13 salary, assuming that he's retained, will be $10-12 million. That significantly decreases the team's cap space outlook for 2012.

But Okafor, Ariza and Jack can be expected to be the subjects of trade rumors; Jack might end up a late amnesty candidate in 2012 if there's a free agent that New Orleans likes. While the Hornets may want to hold off on exploring the pricey free agent market, they should have options in 2012.

For more on the Hornets, visit At The Hive.


With Chris Paul Running The Clippers, Blake Griffin Figures To Get Even Easier Shots

The L.A. Clippers traded for Chris Paul on Wednesday, and in about 10 days we'll see what promises to be the beginning of something sweet as CP3 will take the court with the reigning NBA Rookie of the Year, All-Star and dunk champ Blake Griffin. As a rook in 2010-11, Griffin became must-watch television for fans all over the world thanks to his powerful above-the-rim game; he managed to do what the New York Knicks could not and make Timofey Mozgov famous in America. The Clippers became a huge road draw as well as fans paid for the opportunity to see the kid in the flesh, dunking on everything.

That version of Blake Griffin had Baron Davis, Eric Bledsoe and Mo Williams running the point for me. Boom has always been a good passer (he's averaged more than eight assists per game thrice), Bledsoe is quick and has decent vision and Mo ... well, Mo threw more alley-oops in a couple dozen games in L.A. than he had in the previous 7-1/2 years, and he played with LeBron.

But Paul is something else entirely. CP3 has twice led the league assists per game, and has a career average 9.9 per contest (tops among all active players) while having played for coaches (Byron Scott and Monty Williams, with some Jeff Bower tossed in) who ran some of the most deliberate offenses in basketball. His career assist rate is 46 percent, which is No. 2 all-time, behind just John Stockton. He is the best and most exacting passer since Stockton, with the possible exception of Steve Nash; at the very least, CP3 and Nash have court vision so far above most of their peers -- guys like Davis, Bledsoe and Williams -- that it's almost a ridiculous comparison to even make. (Jason Kidd and Deron Williams should be mentioned in the supreme court vision club, as well.)

Add that court vision to Griffin's destructive tendencies, and you have something monstrous on your hands. It's hard to tell how big CP3's impact will be from Day 1; Paul has never had a finisher like Griffin on his team. Tyson Chandler circa 2008 would seem to be an appropriate comparison, but the Clippers will hope that DeAndre Jordan more closely emulates him, while Griffin refines his already-strong floor game to mimic David West. But there's no question that CP3 is the best passer Griffin will have ever played with, that he's also a great shooter who will help space the floor and that this is a huge step in Blake's young career. What we saw in 2010-11 may just be the surface of what Griffin delivers over the next few seasons.

For more on the Clippers, visit Clips Nation.


Lakers Reportedly Angry About Chris Paul Trade To Clippers

A week ago, the L.A. Lakers thought that they had a deal with the New Orleans Hornets that would result in Chris Paul playing in Southern California. The NBA, which currently runs the Hornets, nixed the trade at what seemed to be the last moment. On Wednesday, the Hornets did consummate a CP3 trade, but this time with the L.A. Clippers

As you'd expect, the Lakers aren't terribly happy with this turn of events. From the Los Angeles Times' Mike Bresnahan:

The Lakers were privately fuming Wednesday, according to a person with knowledge of their front office, when Paul, the New Orleans point guard, ended up in Los Angeles six days after the NBA vetoed the Lakers' trade for him.

Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak declined to comment through a spokesman but earlier this week said the NBA's blockade was "completely unexpected."

The situation will only be made worse when the Lakers have to pony up a reported $50 million as a part of the league's new revenue sharing program. The Hornets, who will be owned by the league for at least a few more months, will likely be a major beneficiary of the program, and could take in $15 million in redistributed funds this season.

For more on the Lakers, visit SB Nation's Silver Screen And Roll.


Chris Paul Trade: David Stern Denies Lakers' Deal Was 'Done' Before He Spiked It

The New Orleans Hornets agreed to trade Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday, just six after the league office -- which operates the franchise while it remains without an independent owner -- spiked a reported deal to send the All-NBA point guard to the Los Angeles Lakers. The saga that unfolded around the failed Lakers deal took on a life of its own, with e-mails from Dan Gilbert, conspiracy theories surrounding competitive balance and other items of intrigue making the rounds.

One of those narratives that has become accepted as fact is that Hornets GM Dell Demps had a deal in principle with the Lakers and Houston Rockets to send CP3 to L.A. for Lamar Odom, Luis Scola and Kevin Martin; Houston would get Pau Gasol. But in the league's conference call announcing the trade on Thursday, NBA commissioner David Stern retorted that the Lakers' deal was never considered "done" by Demps.

"Dell never thought the deal to be done, and those who said that, all for attribution off the record, were trying to force him to make that deal," Stern said Thursday. "But Dell came to us in the normal course. He was presenting lots of different options and opportunities. He then presented this one to Jac and me, and we said that we weren't ready to sign off on that one at that time. He said, 'okay, we have a very valuable player, and let's go let's see what else we can do.'"

Demps was also on Thursday's call, but did not jump in to comment on the Lakers deal. He did say that what happened on the Hornets' side in this saga happens all over the league with respect to owners' positions on potential transactions.


Chris Paul Trade Piques Interest In A Few Games On Clippers' Schedule

A favorite pastime of NBA addicts when a major trade goes down is to check the teams' schedule to find intriguing match-ups. Chris Paul was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday, which provides just that opportunity.

CP3 will have three games against the Hornets this season, but just one in New Orleans. That game will be on March 22. It's currently listed as a League Pass and local TV game, but as that lands on a Thursday, you can expect TNT to pick it up for its early game on the usual double-header. The Hornets will visit the Clippers on March 26 and April 22, with both games already slated for broadcast on NBA TV.

The other set of games everyone will be waiting to see are those in which CP3 and the Clippers will face the L.A. Lakers, who thought they had a deal for Paul a week ago before NBA commissioner David Stern (who runs the league-owned Hornets) killed the deal. The Lakers and Clippers will actually meet twice in the preseason (Monday and Wednesday of next week) with both games slated for NBA TV. On the regular season docket, the teams will meet on January 14 (League Pass), January 25 (NBA TV, but likely to be upgraded to ESPN) and April 4 (ESPN).

Paul had originally requested a trade to the New York Knicks; the Clippers will face the 'Bockers just once, on April 25 (the penultimate day of the regular season) at Madison Square Garden. The game was already scheduled to be broadcast on ESPN.

For more on the L.A.'s second team, visit Clips Nation.


Chris Paul Trade To Los Angeles Clippers Is Official

Chris Paul has been officially traded to the Los Angeles Clippers, the New Orleans Hornets announced on Wednesday evening. Despite multiple reports indicating Paul was dealt to the Clippers in exchange for Eric Gordon, Chris Kaman and Al-Farouq Aminu, it was hard to not get a sense of deja vu. After all, it was just about a week ago that a deal to send Paul to the Lakers was finalized, only to be vetoed by David Stern.

But now that the Hornets have sent out a press release, we can go ahead and stand down. This one is official and Paul is bound for the Clippers. The last-minute roadblocks never sprung up and after a week of trying, a deal was finally consummated.

Oh, but you didn't think things would go forward without getting a little awkward, did you? Take it away, Adrian Wojnarowksi.

Unreal. The NBA is making Dell Demps talk on a conference call with David Stern tonight. Just unreal. A media conference call, I should say.

Remember, this is the same Dell Demps that saw his trade proposals reportedly vetoed multiple times by Stern. In fact, Woj reported Demps didn't make this deal and that is was all worked out by the league.

For more on the Clippers, visit Clips Nation. For more on the Hornets, visit At The Hive.


With Chris Paul Trade, Can Clippers Count On Return To NBA Playoffs?

By trading for Chris Paul, the L.A. Clippers have likely found a way to escape their futile history ... for now.


Chris Paul Trade Sends To Hornets One Of The Most Coveted Draft Picks In Years

In the trade package for Chris Paul, who was reportedly sent to the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday, the New Orleans Hornets are getting two incredible pieces. One is stud shooting guard Eric Gordon, the second coming of Mitch Richmond. The other is the unprotected 2012 first-round draft pick of the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The Wolves traded the pick with Sam Cassell to the Clippers in 2005 (yes, 2005) for Marko Jaric (yes, Marko Jaric). It had been protected for a number of years, but the Wolves have been so bad that the protections finally ran out. No matter how bad Minnesota is this season, the Hornets will take their pick in the draft.

For an idea of just how bad the Wolves have been lately:

  • Minnesota has more losses (190) than any other team in the NBA over the past three seasons, averaging roughly a 19-63 record each year. The second-worst team over that span, the Kings, have averaged a 22-60 record.
  • Minnesota has finished with one of the six worst records in the league in each of the past four seasons, one of the four worst three times and one of the two worst in each of the past two seasons. 
  • Minnesota has not drafted lower than No. 7 overall since 2005.

The 2012 draft also happens to be one of the best drafts since 2007, when Greg Oden and Kevin Durant went No. 1 and No. 2, respectively.

For more on the Hornets, visit At The Hive.


Chris Paul Trade Reportedly Includes 2012-13 Guarantee For Clippers

One of the key questions circling around Chris Paul trade talk over the past two weeks was whether the All-NBA point guard would pick up his player option for 2012-13 or sign a long-term deal if traded to a team not on his initial list of acceptable landing spots. As it turns out, according to ESPN's Marc Stein, Paul did agree to remain under contract through 2013 in Thursday's reported trade to the Los Angeles Clippers.

That gives the Clippers two seasons to convince CP3 to remain in L.A. long-term -- and not with the city's more glamorous squad. It also dings the 2012 free agent class plenty; Paul would have been No. 2 on that list behind Dwight Howard and ahead of Deron Williams.

The Clippers should immediately burst into the West playoff picture, and no one has ever complained about playing with Chauncey Billups or Blake Griffin. The Clippers could have the makings of a dynasty. At least the franchise knows it will have at least two years to suss that out.


Chris Paul Traded To Clippers For Package Led By Eric Gordon, According To Report

The New Orleans Hornets have agreed in principle to trade All-NBA point guard Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Clippers for a package including stud shooting guard Eric Gordonaccording to ESPN's Marc Stein. The package will also send veteran center Chris Kaman, young forward Al-Farouq Aminu and the unprotected 2012 first-round pick of the Minnesota Timberwolves to the Hornets.

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The Hornets are currently owned by the NBA. One week ago, the Los Angeles Lakers had reportedly reached a deal with New Orleans' front office to send CP3 out West. But late Thursday, NBA commissioner David Stern spiked the deal, arguing that the Hornets were more valuable with CP3 on the roster.

With this deal, the Clippers -- who have All-Star Blake Griffin, signed free agent Caron Butler, acquired Chauncey Billups from amnesty waivers and retained center DeAndre Jordan -- will be vaulted into the playoff picture. It's unclear how long CP3 is willing to commit to the Clippers, as he can become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2012. It's unlikely that L.A. would be willing to give up so much without an assurance that Paul would stick around for a while.

For more on the Clippers, visit Clips Nation. For more on the Hornets, visit At The Hive.


Chris Paul Trade Talks With Clippers Reportedly Not 'Over'

The Chris Paul-to-the-Clippers rumors have oscillated between a trade being imminent and dead since a deal appeared to be in place on Sunday night before it fell apart earlier on Monday. The talks appeared over earlier Monday, but the latest report indicates that the league-owned Hornets once again pushing Paul toward the Clippers and that a deal could be done as soon as Tuesday.

A source told that the NBA is "hopeful" that it can resolve the issue "soon." The league would like to end this trade-request saga, which has blown up since David Stern vetoed a three-team trade that would have sent Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers.

"Everything's over until it's reborn again," [Clippers general manager Neil] Olshey said. "I'm not going to drag this out. New Orleans made a fair offer on their end. We didn't think it was something we wanted to pursue at this point and we move on. I met with the team and (coach) Vinny (Del Negro) this morning. We love these guys and it took us three years to get in this position. We've been waiting on draft picks that are coming to fruition. Our players are developing, our young guys keep getting better, we added a key free agent (Caron Butler)."

The Clippers seemed to have moved on from the prospect of a trading for Paul when they made a surprise winning bid to claim point guard Chauncey Billups, who was amnesty-ed on Friday by the New York Knicks.

But a source told ESPN that the winning bid was for $2 million, which is not the type of financial commitment that would prevent the team from bringing in Paul. Los Angeles believed the Hornets' asking price to be too steep, but remains interested if adjustments are made to the trade request.

For more details on the trade talks and to keep up with the latest news and rumors, check out SB Nation NBA's Chris Paul X Clippers Trade StoryStream.


Chris Paul Trade Rumors Raise Conflicting Reports On Eric Gordon

If the New Orleans Hornets trade Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Clippers, will Eric Gordon be headed to the Crescent City? That question is at the center of conflicting reports from Yahoo! Sports on ESPN.

Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski reported early Monday that Gordon was not included in the deal as under review by the NBA, which owns the Hornets. That report matched a Los Angeles Times report on Sunday that did not include Gordon in the package.

ESPN's Chris Broussard followed Woj's report by saying not only that Gordon is included in the deal, but that the Clippers are trying to keep Gordon's name out of reports to prevent a Lamar Odom situation, should the trade fall apart. (The L.A. Lakers had to trade a disgruntled Odom on Saturday after he was shaken up by reports he'd be traded to New Orleans; the Lakers' deal for CP3 was blocked by the league office.)

We should find out whether Gordon is heading to N.O. soon enough.


Chris Paul Trade Could Send Eric Gordon From Clippers To Hornets, According To Report

Late Sunday, it appeared that a proposed trade to send All-Star point guard Chris Paul from the league-owned New Orleans Hornets to the Los Angeles Clippers would not result in stud shooting guard Eric Gordon being sent back to the Crescent City. But according to an ESPN report Monday, Gordon may have replaced Eric Bledsoe in the deal. The Hornets would also receive Chris Kaman, Al-Farouq Aminu and the Minnesota Timberwolves' unprotected 2012 first-round pick, conveyed to the Clips back in 2005.

Gordon and the pick would make this a great package for the Hornets, though the 10,000 New Orleans season ticket holders -- a point of pride for the league -- may have to wait for on-court success. Gordon is a dynamic talent who averaged 22 points per game last season. He has one year left on his rookie deal, and is actually eligible to sign an early Bird extension this offseason.

For more on the Hornets, visit At The Hive. For more on the Clippers, visit Clips Nation.


Chris Paul To The Clippers Trade Close To Final, According To Report

The Los Angeles Clippers are close to a deal to acquire Chris Paul from the league-owned New Orleans Hornetsreports Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times. Talks progressed Sunday, and by the end of the way the Clippers were prepared to send Eric Bledsoe, Chris Kaman, Al-Farouq Aminu and the Minnesota Timberwolves' unprotected first-round pick in the stacked 2010 NBA Draft in exchange for CP3.

The Clippers acquired the Wolves' pick in a 2005 trade for Sam Cassell. Minnesota has won 32 games over the last two seasons combined, and is expected to be in the lottery once again.

The deal is notable in that it includes neither of the Clippers' two brightest young stars: Blake Griffin or Eric Gordon. Griffin is the reigning Rookie of the Year and an All-Star; Gordon is a 20-point scorer with a deadly stroke and surprising athleticism.

The NBA blocked a deal reached last Thursday that would have sent CP3 to the L.A. Lakers for Lamar Odom and three players from the Houston Rockets (Kevin Martin, Luis Scola and Goran Dragic). Pau Gasol would have gone to Houston in that scenario.

For more on the Clippers, visit Clips Nation.


Chris Paul Trade To Clippers In Early Stages, According To Report

Chris Paul will not be traded to the Los Angeles Lakers this season, thanks to the NBA vetoing a deal early in the weekend, but that doesn't mean he won't be sent to L.A. from the New Orleans Hornets this offseason. The latest reports indicate that a trade between the Hornets and Los Angeles Clippers are in the early stages.

The Hornets are asking for Eric Gordon, Chris Kaman, Eric Bledsoe, Al-Farouq Aminu and two first round picks, according to ESPN's Chris Broussard. Rumors indicate that the Clippers would likely include Gordon, but only with a caveat -- if Paul agrees to opt-in to the final season if his deal.

Paul has a final year on his contract worth $18 million that he could opt into if he wishes, but that hasn't seemed like a likely arrangement due to his ability to become a free agent after the upcoming season. If he's interested in forming a dynasty with Blake Griffin and friends, however, there's a possibility he adds the extra year to his contract.

It'c clear that Paul will likely be traded sooner rather than later and, as of now, it seems that the Clippers have become the current front-runner.


Chris Paul Trade Falls Through After Los Angeles Lakers Reportedly Back Out Of Deal

Multiple reports are now indicating the Los Angeles Lakers have thrown in the towel and elected to scrap a proposed three-team trade for Chris Paul. The Lakers had a deal that would bring Paul to Los Angeles on Thursday, only to see it vetoed by NBA commissioner David Stern. After getting back to work in an attempt to reconstruct the trade so that the league would approve it, the Lakers have abruptly backed away from the deal, according to reports.

Adrian Wojnarowski, among others, is reporting the trade is off.

The three-way deal to send Chris Paul to the Lakers has "fallen apart," league source involved in talks says.

And then there's this, from ESPN's Marc Stein.

Sources say Lakers will instead trade Lamar Odom to Dallas into Mavericks' new trade exception

So after all that, it appears the Lakers are content to walk away, perhaps pursuing other options and players. Just when you thought things couldn't get any stranger, they have.

Stay tuned to this StoryStream for further updates. You can also follow along with our Hornets blog, At the Hive, our Lakers blog, Silver Screen and Roll, and our Rockets blog, The Dream Shake.


Chris Paul Trade 2.0 Submitted: Lakers, Hornets, And Rockets Wait For Approval

The Chris Paul trade to the Los Angeles Lakers was vetoed when it was first submitted on Thursday evening, but that doesn't mean the New Orleans Hornets All-Star won't be a teammate of Kobe Bryant this season. In fact, according to ESPN, a similar trade was submitted for league approval on Saturday morning.

It's unclear exactly what was changed in the latest proposal as Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the deal between the Hornets and Houston Rockets, the third team in the trade, is still going to be the same. The new rendition likely involves either younger or better players being shipped from the Lakers to the Hornets.

NBA Commissioner David Stern said on Friday that the league didn't believe that the original offer -- which would have netted the Hornets Luis ScolaKevin Martin and Lamar Odom to go with a future first round pick -- was enough to keep the Hornets as a viable team without their superstar point guard.

"The decision was taken that Chris Paul in New Orleans was more valuable than the trade that was being discussed," David Stern tells Bloomberg. "I don't want to speak on the basketball side, but that particular one was weighed against Chris Paul's continued presence in New Orleans.''

More details should emerge at some point on Saturday afternoon. As of now, though, it seems the Hornets were able to apparently net a better offer thanks to Stern nixing the original deal.


Hornets GM Dell Demps: NBA Has Cleared Team To Make Another Trade, Chris Paul Or Otherwise

A day after the NBA vetoed a reported deal sending Chris Paul to the L.A. Lakers, Dell Demps, the general manager of the league-owned New Orleans Hornets, said that he has clearance to proposed additional trades that involve CP3 or other players.

SB Nation's At The Hive has the quotes:

"Yes, we've been given autonomy to make another trade. ... There's many times than owner comes and nixes a deal. It usually just doesn't become public like this. This is not unusual."

What is unusual is that NBA commissioner David Stern -- not league-appointed Hornets chairman Jac Sperling -- apparently made the call to disallow the trade. That decision came after reported outcries from other NBA owners who hated to see the Lakers add a superstar to the roster.

It remains to be seen whether the Lakers, Hornets and Houston Rockets can tweak Thursday's deal to be acceptable for Stern. It's pretty clear that no deal that results in CP3 playing for the Lakers will be suitable for the other NBA owners.


Chris Paul Trade Talks Between Lakers, Hornets, Rockets Resume, According To Report

Talks to find a trade to send Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers have resumed, reports Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski. On Thursday, the Lakers reached a deal with the league-owned New Orleans Hornets and Houston Rockets to acquired Paul for Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom. But the NBA vetoed the deal, with commissioner David Stern citing "basketball reasons" as the rationale. On Friday, in a statement, Stern stuck to his position, saying that the league felt that the Hornets were more valuable with Paul on the roster.

But a revamped deal could get league approval. There was mass outrage targeted at Stern and the owners who are known to have pushed for the veto, including the Cleveland Cavaliers' Dan Gilbert and Dallas Mavericks' Mark Cuban. But nothing official has come from the league signaling that Stern would accept a different deal.

When the league took over the Hornets in December 2010, Stern said the NBA would approve any recommendations that the Hornets' management team made on the roster.

For more on the Hornets, visit At The Hive.


David Stern Releases Statement On Veto Of Lakers' Chris Paul Trade

NBA commissioner David Stern released a statement Friday on his Thursday veto of the league-owned New Orleans Hornets' trade sending All-Star point guard Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers.

"Since the NBA purchased the New Orleans Hornets, final responsibility for significant management decisions lies with the Commissioner's Office in consultation with team chairman Jac Sperling. All decisions are made on the basis of what is in the best interests of the Hornets. In the case of the trade proposal that was made to the Hornets for Chris Paul, we decided, free from the influence of other NBA owners, that the team was better served with Chris in a Hornets uniform than by the outcome of the terms of that trade."

A year ago, when the league took over the Hornets, Stern had made clear that his office would approve moves recommended by appointed chairman Sperling, team president Hugh Weber and general manager Dell Demps. It is unclear what has changed.

Multiple owners have been reported to have pushed Stern to block the trade. Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban openly admittedly his distaste with the deal on Friday. Yahoo! published an e-mail from Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert decrying the deal late Thursday. 


David Stern Says Hornets Have More Value Without Vetoed Chris Paul Trade

Chris Paul was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night from his current post as the lone superstar on the New Orleans Hornets roster, but the trade was vetoed before anything actually came of it. David Stern, apparently on the behalf of fellow NBA owners, decided to cancel the trade for "basketball reasons."

Stern and the NBA public relations staff wouldn't comment any further on Thursday night, but the NBA Commissioner talked about it with representatives from Bloomberg News on Friday morning.

"The decision was taken that Chris Paul in New Orleans was more valuable than the trade that was being discussed," David Stern tells Bloomberg. "I don't want to speak on the basketball side, but that particular one was weighed against Chris Paul's continued presence in New Orleans.''

The trade would have reportedly netted the Hornets Luis Scola and Kevin Martin from the Houston Rockets along with Lamar Odom from the Lakers and a first round pick that Los Angeles had previously acquired from the New York Knicks.

Considering Paul could leave as a free agent at the end of the season without the Hornets getting anything in return, many lauded the deal as fair to middling -- but apparently it wasn't enough appease the team's ownership group of the league's 29 other NBA team owners.


Chris Paul Reportedly Not Expected To Attend Hornets' Training Camp, Exploring Legal Options

Chris Paul, who was traded to the L.A. Lakers on Thursday until David Stern and the NBA league office decided to veto the deal, is not expected to show up to the opening of New Orleans Hornets training camp on Friday, reports CBS Sports' Ken Berger. Paul is also said to be considering legal options in the wake of Stern's decision to prevent the trade by the league-owned Hornets.

The Hornets have just five total players under contract for the 2011-12 season, as a full complement of incumbent players will be on the free agent market. League business officially opens at 2 p.m. ET; with the odds of a Paul trade coming any time soon now dwindled -- can you imagine New Orleans GM Dell Demps presenting another option right now? -- the franchise would seem to be in flux.

It's unclear what legal options Paul would have. He does have a nice bit of leverage in himself, though; the league sold lots of season tickets in New Orleans this year, and it'd be something else if the team can't produce its star on opening day.


Chris Paul Trade Report Led Dan Gilbert To E-Mail David Stern

Yahoo! reports that Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert e-mailed NBA commissioner David Stern as news of a trade that would send star point guard Chris Paul from the league-owned New Orleans Hornets to the powerhouse L.A. Lakers broke. Stern eventually vetoed the trade, citing "basketball reasons." Gilbert's reasons to oppose the deal were of the more emotional variety.

I cannot remember ever seeing a trade where a team got by far the best player in the trade and saved over $40 million in the process. And it doesn't appear that they would give up any draft picks, which might allow to later make a trade for Dwight Howard. [...]

I just don't see how we can allow this trade to happen.

I know the vast majority of owners feel the same way that I do.

When will we just change the name of 25 of the 30 teams to the Washington Generals?

Gilbert was considered a hardliner in the NBA lockout, where competitive balance and revenue sharing were major issues of contention.


Chris Paul Trade Veto Angers Lakers', Hornets' General Managers

In case you're wondering, no one in the NBA is terribly satisfied about the Chris Paul to the Lakers trade saga. After NBA commissioner David Stern reportedly vetoed the trade -- the league owns the New Orleans Hornets, who had agreed to send CP3 to L.A. for a package most observers considered strong -- Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Hornets GM Dell Demps nearly resigned his position in anger.

Hornets general manager Dell Demps is "disconsolate" over the heavy-handed move from the commissioner's office, a source told Y! Sports. Demps considered resigning his job on Thursday, league sources said, and had to be talked out of it.

The Orange County Register's Kevin Ding reported that Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak was similarly displeased with the league's decision.

Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak described to me by source as "angry and mystified" by NBA. All league told Lakers was no. No explanation.

What further fall-out will come remains to be seen.


Chris Paul Trade To Lakers Called Off Due To 'Basketball Reasons'

The reported trade that would have sent Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers is officially off, according to an NBA spokesman. The Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers and New Orleans Hornets reportedly had a deal in principle to send Paul to the Lakers, Pau Gasol to the Rockets and Lamar Odom to the Hornets along with others on Thursday afternoon, but now the trade is dead. And it all goes back to the league itself.

According to reports, the league killed the deal after owners were irate over the Lakers adding Paul. The pressure reportedly caused the league to cave and eventually nix the deal. However, Tim Frank, a spokesman for the league, is denying those reports, citing "basketball reasons" for the veto.

League spokesman Tim Frank to "Not true that owners killed the (3-team) deal. It wasn't even discussed at the Board meeting..."

Frank: "...League office declined to make the trade for basketball reasons." Statement issued to other media as well.

Quotes via Sam Amick.

What those basketball reasons are, nobody knows. At this point, though, it would appear the Hornets have been handcuffed, unable to trade Paul away after Thursday's debacle.

For more on the Hornets, visit At the Hive. For more on the Lakers, visit SB Nation Los Angeles and Silver Screen and Roll. For more on the Rockets, visit The Dream Shake and SB Nation Houston.


Chris Paul Trade Falls Apart After Pressure From NBA Owners, According To Report

And with that, the circus surrounding the Chris Paul trade appears to be over. To recap: Paul was reportedly on his way to the Los Angeles Lakers in a blockbuster trade that also included the Houston Rockets. Pau Gasol was reportedly headed to the Rockets, Lamar Odom was New Orleans bound and multiple other players were also set to join the Hornets. And now, it's reportedly off.

The NBA was reportedly pressured by irate owners who were standing by watching the rich get richer almost immediately after the lockout ended. Compounding matters was the NBA's ownership of the Hornets, creating an all-around messy situation. And it all reached a boiling point on Thursday night.

Now, Adrian Wojnarowski says the NBA has caved and everything has fallen apart.

The NBA has caved to pressure from owners that the appearance of this deal, on heels of lockout, had to be stopped, sources tell Y! Sports.

No word on what comes next, but CP3 just tweeted "WoW." Whether he's still dealt, perhaps to a destination other than the Lakers is unknown, but this one is going to take a while to sort out.

How u.

For more on the Hornets, visit At the Hive. For more on the Lakers, visit SB Nation Los Angeles and Silver Screen and Roll. For more on the Rockets, visit The Dream Shake and SB Nation Houston.


Chris Paul Trade Under Fire, NBA Reportedly Trying To Stop Hornets

The rumored trade that would reportedly send Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers is in jeopardy after owners voiced their complaints to the league, according to a report on Thursday night. As a result, the NBA is reportedly pressuring New Orleans Hornets general manager Dell Demps to nix the trade. The whole situation just took a turn for the weird.

The news comes from Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Owners were irate in Board of Governors meeting with Stern, livid that the league-owned Hornets were allowed to make Paul deal, sources say. The NBA is now pushing New Orleans GM Dell Demps to pull the plug on the trade and keep Chris Paul, league sources tell Y! Sports.

Interestingly enough, our own Tom Ziller wrote about how any potential Chris Paul trade could be a nightmare for the league earlier this week. One of the points had to do with small-market teams and business as usual in the NBA.

And as soon as the NBA return to business, it's business as usual, with a small-market club being cajoled into trading its best player, its raison d'etre for the past six seasons. And not only will it be business as usual, but it will be David Stern, the man who caved on all of those deal points that the small-market owners so desperately wanted, signing off on the deal.

And so here we are, with a reported standoff between the league, the Hornets and angry owners. You didn't think a blockbuster trade involving CP3 would be so simple, did you?

For more on the Hornets, visit At the Hive. For more on the Lakers, visit SB Nation Los Angeles and Silver Screen and Roll. For more on the Rockets, visit The Dream Shake and SB Nation Houston.


Chris Paul Traded To Lakers: Three Fanbases React

Chris Paul was reportedly traded to the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday evening in a deal that also involved the Houston Rockets. The trade was a blockbuster, with the Lakers sending Pau Gasol to the Rockets and Lamar Odom to the Hornets, along with other pieces from Houston heading to New Orleans. Naturally, the trade drew plenty of reaction, from jubilation to confusion to anger, in some cases.

Quickly checking in with our New Orleans Hornets blog, and I do mean quickly.

I... I don't... I have no words, guys. I'm sorry.

Fans of other teams are dropping by to apologize to the Hornets. Having been on this side of a trade before, it's a bad sign when neutral parties are taking pity.

Meanwhile, Lakers fans are discussing important questions at Silver Screen and Roll.


what happens to fish?

The real important question Lakers fans are pondering has to do with what comes next for the front court. Many are wondering if Dwight Howard is the other shoe to drop, and if he's not, they're worried.

One Houston Rockets fan, commenting over at The Dream Shake, placed his tin foil hat squarely on his head.

The NBA owns the Hornets

The NBA wants the Lakers to be back in the finals. The Hornets make a deal that helps the Lakers. Everyone is shocked.

Houston fans are dissecting the madness right over here.

For more on the Hornets, visit At the Hive. For more on the Lakers, visit SB Nation Los Angeles and Silver Screen and Roll. For more on the Rockets, visit The Dream Shake and SB Nation Houston.


Chris Paul Trade Reportedly A Three-Team Deal Involving Houston Rockets

And here come the Houston Rockets! After reports on Thursday morning indicated the Rockets may be the third team in a potential trade package that would send Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers, it appeared the Hornets and Lakers were prepared to go it alone. But now, the Rockets are reportedly back in the "done" deal that will send Paul to Los Angeles for Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski, the trade package sends players every which way and is as follows.

Hornets working to finalize details on 3-team deal to send Chris Paul to Lakers, Gasol to Rockets and Odom, KMart, Scola to NO, sources say.

So, the centerpieces of the deal appear to be Paul and Gasol, who are headed to the Lakers and Rockets, respectively. New Orleans will, essentially, get back Odom, Kevin Marin and Luis Scola in return, cashing in on assets with both Houston and Los Angeles.

For more on the Hornets, visit At the Hive. For more on the Lakers, visit SB Nation Los Angeles and Silver Screen and Roll.


Chris Paul Trade To Los Angeles Lakers 'Done', According To Report

The rumored Chris Paul trade is "done," according to a report on Thursday afternoon. Within the last hour, reports emerged indicating the New Orleans Hornets and Los Angeles Lakers were close to a deal, and that New Orleans had begun informing teams Paul was on his way out. The deal will reportedly send Paul to Los Angeles for Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom.

According to CBS' Ken Berger, the deal is complete.

Chris Paul to the Lakers is "done," league executive briefed on the deal tells @CBSSports.@WojYahooNBA says it's for Bynum and Odom.

However, Wojnarowski clarified moments ago, saying the deal was for Gasol and Odom.

The deal is the first blockbuster in what's sure to be a wild free agency period. In trading Odom and Gasol, if the reports are correct, Los Angeles has kept pieces around to continue to maneuver, perhaps for Dwight Howard.

For more on the Hornets, visit At the Hive. For more on the Lakers, visit SB Nation Los Angeles and Silver Screen and Roll.


Chris Paul Trade Rumors: Hornets, Lakers Closing In On Deal

The New Orleans Hornets are near a deal that would send Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers for Andrew Bynum Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom, according to a report on Thursday. Trade talks involving Paul have heated up ahead of the NBA free agency period, and it appears this may actually be happening.

According to Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Hornets appear to be in the final stages of a deal. So close, in fact, that New Orleans is reportedly telling teams it's done.

The Hornets have started to inform teams that they're sending Chris Paul to the Lakers for Bynum and Odom, league sources tell Y! Sports.

Woj later corrected himself, saying it was Gasol, not Bynum, in the rumored deal.

Correction: The proposed deal to the Lakers is Chris Paul for Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom, source says.

Earlier, the Hornets and Lakers were reportedly searching for a third team, perhaps the Houston Rockets, to bring into any potential trade scenarios. But now, it appears the Lakers and Hornets are set to go it alone in what has to be one of the bigger blockbusters in a while.

For more on the Hornets, visit At the Hive. For more on the Lakers, visit SB Nation Los Angeles and Silver Screen and Roll.


Chris Paul Trade Offer From Warriors Reportedly Includes Stephen Curry, Two Recent Picks

The Golden State Warriors are one of three teams now at the center of Chris Paul trade rumors, as multiple reporters led by Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski listed the W's, Boston Celtics and L.A. Clippers as the clubs in serious talks with the New Orleans Hornets for the services of the All-Star point guard.'s Sam Amick reports that for the Warriors' part, the team's three most recent lottery picks have been included in the offer for CP3.

Those picks would be stud guard Stephen Curry, defensive big man Ekpe Udoh and 2011 pick Klay Thompson. Udoh showed promise late last season after starting his rookie campaign injured, and Thompson enters a league coveted athletic wing. Curry, of course, is one of the league's hottest young guards, a killer sharpshooter who has erased questions about his point guard abilities in short order.

Amick also reports that the Warriors would need to waive Andris Biedrins and sign coveted free agent center Tyson Chandler -- a close friend of CP3's -- to have a reasonable belief that Paul could be retained beyond the 2011-12 season.

For more on the Warriors, visit Golden State Of Mind and SB Nation Bay Area.


Chris Paul Trade Talks Reel In Clippers, Celtics And Warriors, According To Report

The New Orleans Hornets are seriously engaged in Chris Paul trade talks with three teams, reports Yahoo!'s ace Adrian Wojnarowski: the L.A. Clippers, Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors.

The parameters of any such deals aren't remotely clear, though John Reid of the New Orleans Times-Picayune tweeted early Tuesday that "good offers" were coming in for the All-Star point guard. One would imagine that guards like Rajon Rondo, Stephen Curry and Eric Gordon could be in play for New Orleans.

CP3 had reportedly informed the Hornets in recent days that he had no intention of signing a contract extension, and that if he were traded he'd like to go to the New York Knicks. It has been reported that Paul would like to join his friends Amar'e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony in the Big Apple; if he is traded to New York before the in-season deadline, he'd be eligible for a larger contract as a 2012 free agent. But Wojnarowski reports that if the Warriors or Clippers sign free agent Tyson Chandler, he could change his mind on staying long-term. Paul and Chandler had previously played together in New Orleans.

If CP3 won't agree to an extension with one of New Orleans' preferred trade partners, it's unclear whether those teams will offer enough to pull the point guard. Stay tuned.

For more on the Hornets, visit At The Hive.


Chris Paul Trade Rumors Could Be Resolved By Hornets' Opener, Says Report

Trade rumors circling around New Orleans Hornets star Chris Paul, who can become a free agent in 2012, could be resolved before the team's opener as the franchise's management seeks to avoid a repeat of the months-long Carmelo Anthony drama, report Chris Broussard and Marc Stein of ESPN.

ESPN reports that Paul met with New Orleans GM Dell Demps on Monday, where the All-Star reportedly continued to decline an offered extension, instead opting to hit free agency in July 2012. CP3, a six-year veteran, has never been a free agent.

The situation is complicated by the fact that the Hornets are owned by the league and overseen by a president, Jac Sperling, who was appointed by NBA commissioner David Stern.

ESPN reports that in addition to the L.A. Lakers, the Golden State Warriors, L.A. Clippers, Houston Rockets and Atlanta Hawks have expressed interest in making a CP3 deal happen. But it's unclear what if any assets those teams will relinquish without an assurance that Paul will sign a new deal in the offseason or agree to an extension upon being traded.

For more on the Hornets, visit SB Nation's At The Hive.

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