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 SI.com: "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.