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Chris Paul trade chatter grows, Lakers right at front of line

Dec 6, 2011, 8:55 AM EDT

Chris Paul Andrew Bynum Getty Images

The buzz around the league that the New Orleans Hornets have decided that they have to trade Chris Paul and do it fast is growing.

And the name that keeps coming up more and more as a potential landing spot for the star point guard is the Los Angeles Lakers.

Hornets’ general manager Dell Demps did meet face-to-face with Paul, according to Marc Stein and Chris Broussard of ESPN.

Sources told ESPN.com that Paul and Hornets general manager Dell Demps did have their expected sitdown at the team’s practice facility Monday and that the tone of the meeting was amicable. But Paul, sources said, did not tell the Hornets that he is prepared to sign an extension before the regular season opens Christmas Day, which only increases the likelihood that the Hornets deal the star guard this month.

If they are going to move him, the question is the landing spot. There are a lot of teams interested: The Warriors, Clippers Celtics, Hawks, Rockets and Mavericks. Both the Celtics (who would offer Rajon Rondo) and Rockets are reportedly willing to trade for Paul without him having agreed to extend his deal with the team.

However, more and more the destination that comes up is the Los Angeles Lakers. Sam Amick at Sports Illustrated explains.

Numerous front-office sources told SI.com that the Paul-to-the-Lakers chatter grew louder this week, and the common belief is that it would take Andrew Bynum to get that deal done (as opposed to 31-year-old forward Pau Gasol).

As we passed along yesterday, there are reports that the Lakers and Hornets have had a conversation and would talk again, but that the talks were vague at first. However, that may be changing.

The Lakers want more than just Chris Paul, reports Broussard at ESPN.

It is no secret that the Los Angeles Lakers would like to trade for Dwight Howard or Chris Paul, but sources with knowledge of the situation says the Lakers actually have something greater in mind: acquiring both players.

Hoping to pull off a pair of blockbuster moves that would rock the NBA, the Lakers are willing to trade anyone on their roster outside of Kobe Bryant to bring Howard and Paul to Los Angeles, two sources said.

That is not going to happen because the Lakers have only one real asset a young, rebuilding team would want — Bynum.

Gasol is arguably the most skilled big man in the game right now but he is 31 years old with a huge contract, not a player a rebuilding team will want. Odom works as a throw in as part of a Bynum deal if the Lakers have to take back a bad contract to make it work. But a rebuilding team will want Bynum and picks as part of he deal and the Lakers have only one of him.

The question is, do the Hornets get him for Paul or the Magic for Howard? The key difference is that while the Hornets seem to have come to the conclusion they need to move CP3 now, the Magic still hold out hope they can convince Howard to stay. They  are on a different timeline. Paul seems to be the guy who will get moved first.

Remember this other hurdle to a Paul-to-Lakers deal — the Hornets are owned by the league right now. After preaching competitive balance and giving small market teams a chance throughout the lockout, could the league (and other owners) sign off on a deal that sends CP3 to a marquee team in a huge market? Do not underestimate how that could change things.

  1. thebigkahuna23 - Dec 6, 2011 at 9:00 AM

    Somebody tell the Lakers this isn’t NBA2k11. I’m surprised that the hornet are even thinking about trading him to the Lakers. If they could get rondo it’s a no brainer.

    • gpatrick15 - Dec 6, 2011 at 10:06 AM

      Sorry, but I’d take a young, talented (though injury prone) center with a promising offense and good defense over a point guard that cannot shoot. Rondo’s passing is stellar, but playing 4 vs 5 while Rondo’s omn offense can take that away. Rondo’s game is undermined by the fact that you can leave him wide open with minimal consequences.

    • teehov843 - Dec 6, 2011 at 10:18 AM

      Why would Chris Paul want to go to a old rundown Celtic team

      • thebigkahuna23 - Dec 6, 2011 at 10:31 AM

        Who cares where Chris Paul wants to go? Being under contract he has to go where they send him.

      • bozosforall - Dec 6, 2011 at 11:22 AM

        Who cares what a loser Celtics fan like you things, thelittlecojones23

      • thebigkahuna23 - Dec 6, 2011 at 12:30 PM

        I’m a wizards fan you fool

      • bozosforall - Dec 6, 2011 at 12:38 PM

        Even WORSE, thelittlecojones23

      • qball82 - Dec 6, 2011 at 1:21 PM

        “Who cares where Chris Paul wants to go? Being under contract he has to go where they send him.”

        Why would the Celtics trade their best young player for a star that has already said he would not stay long term in Boston? Just like Carmelo last year, Paul has in effect a no trade clause because no team will trade for him without assurance he would sign an extension first.

  2. ibchuck33 - Dec 6, 2011 at 9:25 AM

    Why are the hornets still in existence? Contracting them would be the smartest move for the nba. Not deciding whether and to where to trade Chris Paul.

    • rajuncajun28 - Dec 6, 2011 at 10:30 AM

      you should be contracted…what an idiot….

  3. jolink653 - Dec 6, 2011 at 9:57 AM

    trading chris paul anywhere would do the knicks a favor…it either allows them simply to sign him in the offseason without giving up the team this season or takes them out of the running for him and forces them to work on picking up several very good pieces now instead of one great piece and bunch of mediocre pieces just to fill the gaps next year…would also leave them available to sign dwight howard if he does wind up being a free agent next year which i think would be a much more important signing for them than chris paul would be assuming dwight wants to come and the knicks could work out the money

  4. jizzojames - Dec 6, 2011 at 11:06 AM

    thebigkahuna23: “Who cares where Chris Paul wants to go? Being under contract he has to go where they send him.”

    This is exactly why Lebron had “The Decision” last year, because teams would rather trade players to get what they want and not focus on what players may want. If the decision did anything last year it gave players POWER, because now they can chart their own course; Carmelo Anthony case and point! Don’t be a rube buddy. The Hornets are going to jump at the best offer they can get for Paul, and he will have MUCH say so in the deal because not team will take him besides the Rockets and maybe Dallas, if he won’t sign long term. A trade for Bynum is a heck of a deal for that team and Paul will most certainly sign long term in LA!!

  5. bparmalee - Dec 6, 2011 at 11:54 AM

    “This is exactly why Lebron had “The Decision” last year, because teams would rather trade players to get what they want and not focus on what players may want. If the decision did anything last year it gave players POWER, because now they can chart their own course; Carmelo Anthony case and point!”

    What are you talking about?!!! The Lebron move did force the Carmelo move but only because no one wants to be as dumb as the Cavs and get nothing in return. The Nuggets did ok in that trade. All Lebrons “Decision” bs did is make sure no team keeps a Star player in the final year of his deal. Small market teams now know this “If he wont sign he is gone.” By your dumb axiom they should do what he wants and trade him to Knicks for a bag of chips and a 2nd round pick.

  6. Chris Fiorentino - Dec 6, 2011 at 12:18 PM

    “Remember this other hurdle to a Paul-to-Lakers deal — the Hornets are owned by the league right now. After preaching competitive balance and giving small market teams a chance throughout the lockout, could the league (and other owners) sign off on a deal that sends CP3 to a marquee team in a huge market? Do not underestimate how that could change things.”

    I agree Kurt, and hope the owners stick to their principles. However, if the Hornets trade Paul to the Lakers, then I will immediately go from pro-owner to pro-nobody in the blink of an eye.

  7. thebigkahuna23 - Dec 6, 2011 at 12:38 PM

    Listen up boys. I’m a wizards fan, I have no bias in this matter. Lebron’s “decision” was about a self absorbed, self centered, narcissistic douce thinking he was better than everybody else and running away from his hometown. That aside the players are under CONTRACTS. They have signed away their right to have the final decision on where they want to go if traded. Players now are spoiled brats. If they don’t get what they want they start shouting racism and making comparisons to slavery. That itself is disgusting. If it was me deciding where to trade Paul I’d send him to Zanzibar if they gave me the best offer.

    • bozosforall - Dec 6, 2011 at 12:40 PM

      You had better watch those “racism” comments, thelittlecojones23…otherwise “Chocolate City” will disown you. LMAO

      • thebigkahuna23 - Dec 6, 2011 at 1:45 PM

        Did you even read my post you clown? I know it’s hard to understand business when you’re 14 years old so leave this stuff to the big boys okay?

      • bozosforall - Dec 6, 2011 at 4:18 PM

        Big boys? Give me a break, dude. Anyone who calls himself “thebigkahuna” obviously is someone who isn’t over 10.

        As for understanding business, I’ll put my MBA against your GED any day.

      • thebigkahuna23 - Dec 6, 2011 at 5:26 PM

        You’re calling out my username when yours is bozosforall? Is that a joke. And way to be original calling me 10, I guess when you’re as young as you are you still think if you say it last you’re right. You don’t have an MBA, any fool like yourself can make that assertion online. You’re also clearly jobless judging by how fast you respond to some of these comments. You’re clearly just an internet troll. Here’s some advice: leave your mom’s basement, lose like 50 pounds, and clear up that acne. It’s not your fault you have no social skills and therefore no friends. I would also consider taking some kind of writing composition class so you don’t seem like such an idiot when you try to tell people things… like that you have an MBA for example

    • regacideking - Dec 6, 2011 at 2:57 PM

      thebigkahuna23 – The reason people are mocking you is you are writing paragraph long comments w/out understanding the core concept. Paul is going to be a free agent. No team would trade for him unless he was going to sign a contract extension. Nobody would give up good players to rent him for the rest of the year.

      He would sign in LA or NY. Not very likely he would resign in Boston. Impossible he would ever sign in DC. And if Rondo was so much better than Bynum, the Celtics wouldn’t have him on the trading block.

      Hopefully that clears up the confusions about how contracts work and why the options for NO are limited at best.

      • thebigkahuna23 - Dec 6, 2011 at 5:21 PM

        Regacideking – I understand the core concept. When did I ever say he was going to sign in D.C.??? There were rumors that the celtics were willing to give up rondo to get paul earlier in this week. The one semi-long response i typed was about why Paul doesn’t have a say in where he goes. I don’t know if you’re just stupid or being sarcastic. Maybe you’re just bozosforall’s second account. You don’t think rondo is better than bynum? You clearly have absolutely no knowledge of pro basketball.

  8. ibchuck33 - Dec 6, 2011 at 1:44 PM

    Rajuncajun, if that reply was to me, well thought out reply. Cajun fits you. There are too many teams. The talent pool is diluted. Sorry New Orleans, but your team sucks. And would be best dismantled for the good of the league. If they get rid of Paul they’ll be even worse. Why should the NBA continue to run a team? They’ve got bigger issues to deal with. See Cajun, that’s a well thought out intelligent reply. Now go get me some gumbo

    • bozosforall - Dec 6, 2011 at 4:18 PM

      I B Chuck…what’s that? Ebonics? LMAO

  9. bruthamanfrmda5thflo - Dec 9, 2011 at 5:25 AM

    I just want to keep it simple, The Lakers need a POINT GUARD, Paul would fit in just fine. I really don’t want to see Lamar or Bynum go but, getting a solid Point Guard strengthens our team. N.O. would GAIN a young center who can defend and score and a great forward/guard with Bynum and Odam. This is how I look at it. . . . The politics of basketball is taking away the beauty of the game. Lets just play ball.

    P.S.
    I wouldn’t put it past the owners. . . . They don’t want the LAKERS to make another run at back to back titles. . . . Do what you can to keep that from happening!!! I Just saying!!!!

  10. bruthamanfrmda5thflo - Dec 9, 2011 at 5:27 AM

    I just want to keep it simple, The Lakers need a POINT GUARD, Paul would fit in just fine. I really don’t want to see Lamar or Bynum go but, getting a solid Point Guard strengthens our team. N.O. would GAIN a young center who can defend and score and a great forward/guard with Bynum and Odam. This is how I look at it. . . . The politics of basketball is taking away the beauty of the game. Lets just play ball.

    P.S.
    I wouldn’t put it past the owners. . . . They don’t want the LAKERS to make another run at back to back titles. . . . Do what you can to keep that from happening!!! I’m Just saying!!!!

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