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Report: Lakers, Rockets, Hornets talking reworking Chris Paul trade

Dec 9, 2011, 4:47 PM EDT

Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul Getty Images

This could get interesting. And it could provide David Stern a “face saving” way out of his public relations disaster.

The Lakers, Hornets and Rockets are talking again about ways to sweeten the three-team trade vetoed by Stern yesterday, tweeted Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo (who has been on top of this story from the start).

On renewed talks for nixed Chris Paul blockbuster: “All three teams are engaged,” one source tells Y! Sports. “Not sure if it will work.”

There are other teams who had been in the CP3 hunt — Golden State, Boston — who have tried to re-engage talks with the Hornets as well.

“We’re talking about everything. Everything is on the table,” general manager Dell Demps told the Associated Press.

If a deal is not executed over the weekend, there are rumblings that the players union may take legal action against the league.

The original deal sent Chris Paul to the Lakers, Pau Gasol to the Rockets, and four players – Lamar Odom, Kevin Martin, Luis Scola and Goran Dragic — plus a first round pick to the Hornets.

Stern allegedly killed this deal for “basketball reasons,” because it made the Hornets less valuable as a franchise. According to the New York Times Howard Beck, the directive from the league is to get a package of younger players and picks that would allow the Hornets to build going forward. (You have to wonder if that means they want Andrew Bynum from the Lakers, and if L.A. would give him up for a point guard.)

Cavaliers’ owner Dan Gilbert complained that the Lakers got the best player in the deal and shed salary. If the deal can be reworked so that Hornets big man Emeka Okafor — three years, $30 million left on his deal — went off the Hornets books and on the Lakers books, would that be more fair?

For a lot of the detractors, the real issue was that the best point guard in the game was leaving a small market for the 800-pound gorilla of franchises that was the Los Angeles Lakers. Chris Paul was going to team with Kobe Bryant, the Lakers still had Andrew Bynum (to play at center or use as the heart of a Dwight Howard trade) and those small market owners didn’t like it. They were jealous. The Lakers were smart enough to have the assets to get Paul and be a market where he would sign to play for years.

That does not change in a reworked deal. The Lakers would still get Paul and pair him with Kobe.

But after the backlash of the last 24 hours, would Stern dare veto it again? Or, could he say, “this deal is better” and save face by allowing it to go through?

  1. stoutfiles - Dec 9, 2011 at 4:53 PM

    Why do you keep calling this a PR disaster? Because you and some other writers are angry there aren’t more exciting super teams to talk about? Most people don’t even care about the NBA right now because of the lockout, for it to be a disaster people have to care.

    However, this proves like I wrote earlier today that Paul will eventually be traded, and all the writers that freaked out today saying the Hornets are screwed now are crazy sensationalists.

  2. trueballs - Dec 9, 2011 at 4:57 PM

    “The Lakers were smart enough to have the assets to get Paul and be a market where he would sign to play for years.” Smart enough to have assets and be in a great market? I think we could replace “smart” with “fortunate” or “lucky”…

    Anyway…I think the deal was fair to begin with…Hornets get 3 near all-stars and a decent young PG. This new deal looks even more favorable for the Hornets, but common sense probably won’t prevail.

    I think David Stern is trying his hardest to retire with the lowest favorability possible.

  3. teke184 - Dec 9, 2011 at 4:59 PM

    “Why do you keep calling this a PR disaster? ”

    1. Because it’s unprecedented for the league to do it

    2. Because they utterly screwed the Hornets to do it, as now they’ll be unable to get anything back for Paul unless the resubmitted deal is accepted

    • stoutfiles - Dec 9, 2011 at 5:05 PM

      1. All the owners have a stake in the team, so they all have a say when it changes the entire roster.

      2. He can still be traded to the Lakers or any other team (Knicks, Magic w/ Howard, etc). Also, NO needs a miracle as even though those players might win some games, they won’t draw fans. When Odom and Martin are your stars, people won’t pay big money to see you fight for the 7th-8th seed. In other sports it’s all about winning, but the NBA is about putting on a show and those players wouldn’t do it.

      • danielcp0303 - Dec 9, 2011 at 5:27 PM

        1. Well apparently David Stern lied then, because he says the decision was made without the owners advice. (let’s face it, he got caught in a lie)

        2. By axing a trade, how can any team be comfortable trying to trade for him? And when a trade does happen for him, how stupid does the league look? People weren’t going to pay tons of money to watch a bare team without Chris Paul either, at least this gives the team a way to save face.

      • cubalakeshow - Dec 9, 2011 at 5:33 PM

        http://espn.go.com/nba/attendance

        So if the NBA is all about putting on a show and noone cares about lower playoff seeds and you need stars to bring in fans explain how the Trailblazers were #2 in attendance and how the Jazz were 7th and Warriors 10th? Look where the Hornets were WITH Paul…26th…seems like stars don’t necessarily mean fans

      • stoutfiles - Dec 9, 2011 at 6:13 PM

        1. Stern did lie, he chose to be the scapegoat for the owners. Do you really think Gilbert was the only angry owner? No, he was the only one who had his anger leaked.

        2. It’s Chris freaking Paul. Anyone will try (the Lakers are already trying again). Why does it matter if the Hornets save face again? They can’t sink much lower.

        Portland is a rare city with
        -no other professional teams to take interest/money (ok. city has that benefit too)
        -somewhat stars in Roy and Oden (bad luck with both)
        -a lot of hope they’ll be really good (but never are)

      • philtration - Dec 9, 2011 at 9:38 PM

        The fact that the league owns a team is in itself a joke.
        Conflict of interest.

        New Orleans has failed twice now in professional basketball.
        Pull the plug and contract the team.

    • troy10 - Dec 9, 2011 at 5:40 PM

      1. It’s unprecedented because how many teams does the NBA actually own?? So.. yes it’s unprecedented but you act like there aren’t any special circumstances. Everyone acts as though they killed a trade between two/three teams with actual owners.

      2. Yes.. the trade will still go through.. but you’ll probably see some more draft picks making their way to NO. And.. LA will probably have to take Emeka’s contract, as it should be.

      I think all the drama over the NBA is now funny. I pay attention to it b/c of the circus it has become.. but once the NBA “season” actually starts… I’ll quit thinking about the NBA.

  4. heat256 - Dec 9, 2011 at 5:08 PM

    Why does everyone say Bynum is some sort of stud? Bad health, bad attitude. Orlando would probably take a step BACK as a franchise trading for Bynum. I think I’d rather let him walk and not deal with another broken down player. They just went through that with Arenas.

    • bigmike7914 - Dec 10, 2011 at 10:19 AM

      Bynum is a more polished offensive big man with a nasty streak the reason Bynum’s knees were bad was because he never really got the surgery he needed he was really getting patch work so he could play he really should have missed the whole season 2010, and he’s only 24 yrs old and how the landscape looks he seems to be the last of a dying breed with post playing big men.

  5. karlton2 - Dec 9, 2011 at 5:12 PM

    If the Lakers sweeten the pot, won’t that mean that Stern was right in saying the original trade wasn’t good enough?

  6. narrabeen23 - Dec 9, 2011 at 5:13 PM

    From a “Basketball” standpoint, I think the Lakers got worse in the original deal cuz they would’ve been giving away their biggest strength: they are a huge mismatch with three 7-footers. You should never give up a quality big man, much less two.

    However, if they get Emeka back in a revised deal and you can then trot out two 7-footers with Paul and Kobe…good god.

  7. BrownsTown - Dec 9, 2011 at 5:24 PM

    The Hornets should just trade Paul and follow the San Antonio model to rebuild.

    • teke184 - Dec 9, 2011 at 5:25 PM

      Which is Dell Demps’ plan, as he was the assistant GM in San Antonio for years.

  8. fmlizard - Dec 9, 2011 at 5:28 PM

    I’m a Wolves fan. I hate the Lakers and pretty much every other of these major market AAU teams being put together. But I still wish this trade would go through.

    Better that Paul goes to the Lakers now at the cost of two All-Stars than joining them scot free in 7 months.

  9. 00maltliquor - Dec 9, 2011 at 5:29 PM

    I’m not gonna hold my breath on this one. I’ve already had the carpet pulled from under me but if this re-worked trade means having to take on Emeka then this is actually more to my liking! Ok, dude has a huge contract, but he’s a real good defensive PF an at 6″10 gives us anther starting big to go with Bynum/Howard seeing as how the only other big we have after the trade and Bynum is Derrick Character. I was actually hoping to have Emeka in the last trade. So yeah, me likes.

    Oh yeah, David Slimy Snake Stern…take Dan Gilbert’s hand out of your a$$ when this goes down, you butt puppet. Then resign and proceed to play in L.A. traffic you worthless p.o.s.

    • bozosforall - Dec 9, 2011 at 6:27 PM

      As long as the salary numbers work, the Lakers end up even stronger if they have to take on Okafor, so the joke will be on the rest of the league.

  10. malice420dotcom - Dec 9, 2011 at 5:44 PM

    Stern = Obama White

  11. harrcwwh - Dec 9, 2011 at 5:47 PM

    Bottom Line: LeBron James singlehandedly ruined the NBA. Period. The narcissistic mentality and overwhelming sense of self-entitlement “The Decision” has instilled in superstar players is disgusting and has initiated and now exacerbated an unparalleled state of chaos throughout the NBA with no end in sight.

  12. steelerchicken - Dec 9, 2011 at 5:52 PM

    The trade is garbage! I would not make this in a video game

    • bozosforall - Dec 9, 2011 at 6:29 PM

      STHU, chickenhumper. You wouldn’t know a good trade if someone mapped it out for you. Odd that ALL THREE teams are complaining about the deal being nixed, not just the Lakers. In fact, only the Lakers declined to pursue legal action before anything even got started. The other two teams will sue though if the NBA doesn’t back off.

      • littlejohn4life - Dec 9, 2011 at 6:38 PM

        So your saying the Hornets are suing the NBA…..they are owned by the NBA.

        The Hornets are suing themselves?

  13. the1line - Dec 9, 2011 at 6:34 PM

    “The Lakers were smart enough to have the assets to get Paul and be a market where he would sign to play for years.” –>> Smart not the word… It’s called MONEY …

  14. pickford23 - Dec 9, 2011 at 6:40 PM

    “For a lot of the detractors, the real issue was that the best point guard in the game was leaving a small market ….”

    Derek Rose is the best point guard in the game!

  15. chuckj1234 - Dec 9, 2011 at 6:43 PM

    It seems to me that CP is the only one who has a good chance of winning in court. because it would hit him the wallet.

  16. jk29 - Dec 9, 2011 at 9:30 PM

    Yes, the Lakers were smart enough to have the assets to trade for Paul, but for you to say they were “smart enough” to be a big market where he would want to play is sort of silly. Smart had nothing to do with that. The bottom line is this: you could be the “smartest” franchise in the league as far as acquiring trade assets but if you aren’t in the right market, well, tough luck.

  17. goforthanddie - Dec 9, 2011 at 11:04 PM

    All of this could have been avoided if Stern had let Larry Ellison buy the Hornets. They would’ve sold for a profit, to an owner with more money than he can count. Maybe he could’ve convinced Paul to stick around. Maybe we’d be talking about NO being in the hunt for Howard, instead of going the other way.

  18. isujames - Dec 10, 2011 at 12:26 AM

    Why are the lakers stuck on getting this chris paul,dwight howard is the big ticket,with him and kobe togather you can just about put anybody @ point and win with that squad.

  19. 1historian - Dec 10, 2011 at 8:10 AM

    there is also the simple fact that people – that means players – should be able to go to work for whomever they want to

    anybody remember Lou Brock?

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