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Chris Paul to Lakers deal back from the dead. Maybe. But modified.

Dec 10, 2011, 1:49 AM EDT

Chris Paul, Quincy Pondexter AP

A little more than 24 hours after the iron fist of David Stern crushed the Chris Paul to the Lakers trade because small market owners complained it was not good for the Hornets, we know four things.

1. Chris Paul is going to be traded. Sooner rather than later.

2. The Lakers’ and Hornets’ three-team deal is gaining momentum again in a modified form and could come to pass, still sending Paul to Los Angeles (although the Rockets may not be the third team in the final version).

3. Other teams and deals are getting a look at it as well.

4. Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert and some other small-market owners probably won’t like whatever Hornets GM Dell Demps does anyway.

On Friday the three teams that had their old deal fall apart started looking at ways to sweeten the deal and make it more palatable to Stern. It was Stern wearing the hat of the Hornets owner — not commissioner — that killed the deal, he said in a statement.

“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.”

That is the company line. Do with it as you will.

What matters is the word that got back to those teams was that the Hornets had to get younger players and more picks in any deal for Paul. In the old deal, they would have gotten Lamar Odom, Kevin Martin, Luis Scola, Goran Dragic and a first-round pick. While that is three solid starters and a backup point guard, they would all have had to been flipped for other parts to rebuild. Stern apparently wants less talent now and more building blocks.

There were multiple reports Friday tonight that the sides were making progress. David Aldridge at summed up the mood and reports pretty well.

A source directly involved in the negotiations told Aldridge that progress had been made in a potential trade of 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.

There is cautious optimism, but we are a ways from a deal.

Meanwhile, Demps said his is listening to teams that had lost out before, which likely includes Golden State, Boston and others. It is also possible that the Rockets could be moved out as the middle man and a team like the Indiana Pacers take their spot, to provide younger players and picks.

It may not have happened as Demps — and Lakers fans — originally envisioned. But Paul will be traded soon, and the Lakers still seem to be the most likely landing spot.

  1. snoopy2014 - Dec 10, 2011 at 2:07 AM

    My thing is … the league’s move was completely unexpected. There had never been a precedent like this set before. No one involved could have ever predicted Stern would do this.

    So how can they be optimistic if they have no idea what Stern is thinking? At this point, Stern (fueled by select owners) is really a loose cannon. There’s no predicting whether he’ll do something rationale or not. So I don’t get how the GMs can be optimistic; there’s no telling what Stern will do next.

    This was Stern’s “Decision” moment. Like Lebron, I think he completely underestimated the amount of backlash he was going to get for his move.

    • idontevenwannaknow - Dec 10, 2011 at 6:36 AM

      Unprecedented? How many times in the NBA has a team been “league owned” and made a trade?

      Oh yeah, the Landry/Thornton deal last year… What was the difference that Gilbert did this week as opposed to what Mark Cuban did earlier this year? If a couple people’s feathers were ruffled earlier this year in regards to the Landry deal, did we expect anything different with a blockbuster Paul deal? The faster the league finds a new owner for this franchise (or contracts it) the better.

      Is Stern the de facto owner? Apparently, but the GM of the Hornets has to answer to someone (don’t most GMs?). How many trades have been agreed upon, only to be shot down by the owner(s)?

      Stern isn’t a “loose cannon”, he is obviously listening to small market owners more than ever, and this conundrum was predicted long ago when the seeds were sewn by a big market owner (Cuban) in complaints about a relatively minor trade.

      The league needs to sell the Hornets, and if Paul is not going to be in uniform, I would expect that a new owner would at least like to have some potential on the roster if he/she is not going to inherit a very talented player in Chris Paul.

      Was the ultimate veto of the trade a little late? Maybe, but how often does a commissioner have to act as the de facto (my Latin phrase of the day, apparently) head of a team and the head of the league simultaneously, while trying to allow a major trade of one of the league’s premier players?

      I have a hunch this trade will get completed, the Lakers/Rockets will get their preferred player (Paul/Gasol), while the Hornets should make it out more appealing to purchase in the end with more players with potential gained and/or more draft picks to play with.

  2. thekingdave - Dec 10, 2011 at 2:08 AM

    Awesome Stern. Let this trade leak out in the media before “voting” on it, leaving the Rockets out in the cold with three players back on a team which was trying to deal them.

  3. pukpokito - Dec 10, 2011 at 2:24 AM

    Put more pressure.The spoiled brat of the NBA must not be helped.down with those lakers.Commissioner is a nice guy.But I like him better acting up like this towards the lakers.yeah.

    • david8726 - Dec 10, 2011 at 4:09 AM

      David Stern is the one guy who hit the “like” button on this comment.

  4. mydadyourmom - Dec 10, 2011 at 2:51 AM

    Stern is the best. Takes no sh*t.

  5. smakhhm - Dec 10, 2011 at 3:03 AM

    Stfu laker hater. One word…..jealous.

  6. kyneedsannflteam79 - Dec 10, 2011 at 3:13 AM

    Stern did the right thing for the Hornets by blocking this Deal. He wants the best deal for the Hornets and if the Lakers want him so bad they need to sweeten the pot more by giving up a draft pick or another player. I think the deal will go down with more incentives for the Hornets.

    • 00maltliquor - Dec 10, 2011 at 7:22 AM

      I will defer you back to to what my man smakhhm said above us.

  7. fx1718 - Dec 10, 2011 at 7:41 AM

    Yay another trio of morons trying to ruin the NBA. LA is the new MIA?

  8. omniusprime - Dec 10, 2011 at 8:57 AM

    What the heck is Kupcake thinking trading away both Pau and Lamar for Chris Paul. You don’t win championships with small ball, the Lakers need their bigs in order to compete for another title. Why isn’t Fisher part of a deal to get Paul? Trade away Fisher and Odom to get Paul but by all means keep Pau. The aging Lakers need to get some younger talented players in order to build up team speed and youth, they just plain ran out of gas last playoffs. Funny that it seems like Stern was trying to do the Lakers a favor more than his precious Hornets. Let’s face it the Hornets have been a lost cause and a cursed team, just how stupid was it for them to leave Charlotte when the Bobcats have done so well there? Just how cursed is New Orleans with basketball teams since they lost the Jazz so long ago? If Stern really wants to save the Hornets he needs to move them to a big market or maybe it would be more kind to just let the team die off.

    Come on Kupcake you can make a smarter deal to improve the Lakers without destroying the Big Three front court. Remember what Riley said long ago – No Rebounds No Rings!

    • Best kept secret - Dec 10, 2011 at 9:37 AM

      Did you really say Derek Fisher and Lamar Odom for Chris Paul???LOL!!!

      • kylemoss - Dec 10, 2011 at 9:55 AM

        You know fisher is probably the worst starting PG in the NBA? He old, slow, cant play defense, shooting percentage is way down, did you see what westbrook, and JJ did to him in the playoffs?? No team in its right mind would take Derick Fisher who is in his last year of his career. Lakers fans….

    • thekingdave - Dec 10, 2011 at 3:42 PM

      Wow, you make Laker fans look delusional. Fisher and Odom for Paul? Oh man, you’ve got to be freaking kidding me!

  9. bparmalee - Dec 10, 2011 at 9:31 AM

    My Pacers better not get involved in this bs!! We do not need Pau Gasol and his contract. The Pacers are trying to build through the draft and with younger players. Pau Gasol was already with a small market team and he wasnt too happy about being there. We dont need an unhappy.. older PF that doesnt want to there. Stay out of this one Pacers.

  10. sunsation3413 - Dec 10, 2011 at 10:36 AM

    Maybe the Lakers can re sign Adam Morrison and trade him for CP3?

  11. rockwallfields - Dec 10, 2011 at 11:46 AM

    I have 2 questions:
    1) Why couldn’t Demps review the deal with Stern and get his approval before finalizing the deal and making the trade details public? Now the players involved, the teams involved, the teams who want to get involved, and the fans who are emotionally invested in any of these players or teams all have been affected in ways that can be difficult if not impossible to repair. It doesn’t appear that such a scenario would be difficult to avoid.
    2) Can’t Stern and Demps meet and develop a set of goals and expectations as to what they need to get I’m return for Chris Paul? Isn’t that at least a minimum expectation of Stern in his role as acting-team-owner? How can Demps negotiate with other teams when the other teams don’t know if his word is good, and how the heck does Demps know how to construct a deal if he doesn’t know what will or will not be approved? Regardless who owns the team, the owners have to provide direction to their executives in such matters behind closed doors, at least before and after such negotiations, before making such deals public.

  12. urodaddy07 - Dec 10, 2011 at 8:11 PM

    While I like CP, I don’t know why this is such a great deal for LA. They lose Gasol and Odom, for a very talented guy, who appears to me to be a bit injury prone. They would be losing a lot of size, talented size, for a slightly undersized PG, who may not be able to play a whole season. They will then have to rely heavily on Andrew Bynum whose ability to stay healthy is in serious question. I am laker fan and I ain’t feeling this deal. LA needs a young mobile point guard but I fear LA is giving up too much. I’m worried, very worried.

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