Blog Entry

Lakers pull out of Paul talks

Posted on: December 11, 2011 12:27 am
Edited on: December 11, 2011 2:36 am
A tortured three-team trade that would've sent Chris Paul to the Lakers fell apart Saturday night when the Lakers and Rockets were unable to satisfy criteria set forth by the NBA, which owns the Hornets, three people with knowledge of the situation told

The Lakers immediately shifted gears and agreed to trade Lamar Odom to Dallas for draft picks, a move that rival executives and a person briefed on the team's basketball strategies viewed as a precursor for a push to acquire Dwight Howard from Orlando.

Odom goes into a trade exception created when the Mavericks signed and traded center Tyson Chandler to the Knicks in a complicated, three-team deal, setting the stage for the Lakers to seriously engage the Magic in talks to acquire Howard, who on Saturday admitted that he'd requested to be traded. confirmed reports that Howard requested to be traded to the New Jersey Nets, but two people with direct knowledge of Howard's plans said Saturday that the All-Star center has long wanted to play in Los Angeles. Howard's affinity for the city is so strong that sources said the Lakers' co-tenants in Staples Center, the Clippers, should not be ruled out as a trade partner for Orlando.

The entire league will be trying to acquire Howard in the coming days now that his trade request is public and the Magic have acknowledged giving his agent, Dan Fegan, permission to discuss trade possibilities with the Lakers, Nets and Mavericks. But the Lakers are the only team capable of offering an All-Star 7-footer, Pau Gasol, and a potential All-Star 7-footer, Andrew Bynum -- while also being willing and able to take Hedo Turkoglu and his poisonous contract. 

The Rockets, who were supposed to get Gasol in the various versions of the ill-fated, three-team Paul trade, were said to be disconsolate over the breakdown in the talks. League sources said Houston's plan had been to acquire Gasol and follow it up by acquiring free-agent big man Nene with a four-year, $60-$64 million offer.

As disappointed as the Rockets and Lakers were, the Hornets' coaching staff and front office were said to be in "collective shock," according to a person in touch with key members of the team. The breakdown of the Paul trade sent the Hornets scrambling for another suitor for the All-Star point guard, who has made it clear he wants to be traded or will leave New Orleans as an unrestricted free agent after the season.

The Hornets' coaching staff had been "ecstatic" when the initial deal was agreed to Thursday sending Odom to New Orleans from the Lakers and Luis Scola and Kevin Martin from the Rockets, among other pieces, until commissioner David Stern rejected it in his role as the final decision-maker for the owner-less Hornets for what the league described as "basketball reasons."

"It was like going from the highest of the highs to the lowest of the lows," the person in touch with the Hornets' decision-makers said. "The kind of pieces that they got, the kind of players they got and how they were going to use them, they were just really excited."

The key to the deal from the Hornets' perspective, was Scola. Hornets coach Monty Williams also had been looking forward to the opportunity to coach Odom, a supremely talented player he believed he had a chance to reach and coach to his full potential.

Other teams, including the Clippers, Warriors and Celtics, were putting other moves on hold until the Lakers' pursuit of Paul reached a fork in the road. But given that the NBA blocked the initial trade sending Paul to the Lakers Thursday, and set forth conditions as the Hornets' functioning ownership that the three teams couldn't meet, it's difficult to imagine executives jumping into another Paul soap opera not knowing what the parameters for a deal would be.

"Everyone is scared" to deal with the Hornets about Paul now, a person plugged into the discussions said early Sunday.

Still, one front office executive said that talks with the Warriors and Clippers about a Paul trade would now be reignited. Previous discussions stalled when the Clippers refused to include sharpshooter Eric Gordon in the deal, and the leverage New Orleans had to hold out for a better offer is now gone -- ironically, killed by the league's refusal to approve deals that the Hornets' basketball staff supported as a way to avoid losing Paul for nothing. In an ill-conceived effort to strengthen the assets New Orleans would receive for Paul, the league has left the woebegone franchise in the unthinkable predicament of getting stuck with the disgruntled superstar and having him make the franchise-crippling decision of leaving as a free agent without any compensation.

Among the most coveted assets the Clippers possess is Minnesota's unprotected 2012 first-round pick, which in a strong draft could be the piece that finally pushes a CP3 trade to its merciful conclusion. Under normal business conditions, the Clippers wouldn't have to offer such a valuable asset after other avenues fell through for the Hornets. But with the league office calling the shots, this is anything but business as usual.

Really, only one thing was certain early as the aftermath of the Paul saga circulated through front offices across the league. However it's resolved, the logical next step could be a courtroom when, as one team executive said, "The lawsuits start flying."

While some executives and agents were confused as to why the Lakers didn’t seriously engage the Magic in trade discussions that would’ve sent Bynum and Gasol to Orlando for Howard and Turkoglu in the first place, sources said the answer was simple: the Lakers want to try to position themselves to land both Paul and Howard.

“They got greedy,” one person briefed on the situation said.

Despite sources confirming that Howard had requested to be traded to the Nets – a team that has been on his list since at least February – two people with knowledge of his plans said he views L.A. as a better fit for his off-court aspirations. The conflicting signals from Howard are similar to what Magic executives have experienced over the past year as the All-NBA center has frequently changed his mind about whether he wants to stay in Orlando or not.

The Magic, attempting to avoid the scenario that saw them lose franchise center Shaquille O'Neal as a free agent in 1996 and get nothing in return, are adamant about exhausting trade possibilities with teams whether they are on Howard’s list of preferred destinations or not.

As high as the stakes are for Orlando, they were equally high for New Jersey, which traded Derrick Favors, Devin Harris and two first-round picks last season for point guard Deron Williams without any assurances that Williams would still be with the team when it moves to a new arena in Brooklyn for the 2012-13 season. If Howard lands with the Lakers, and New Jersey fails to land Nene, the Nets' efforts to surround Williams with enough talent to sign a long-term deal next summer would be on life support. Front office sources, however, believed that Nene's motivation for signing with Houston would've been to play alongside Gasol -- who is still, to his delight, a Laker for now but will now have to deal with speculation that Orlando will be his new home before long.

Talks to send Paul to the Lakers were revived Friday afternoon after Stern took the stunning step of killing the deal in its previous form. The goal was to tweak the deal in a way that allowed New Orleans to come away with younger players and more draft picks, the directive issued by the commissioner's office after a trade that would've sent the Hornets three bonafide starters, a solid backup, and a mid-first-round pick was deemed not good enough.

Stern must approve any transaction as monumental as a Paul trade not as commissioner, but as the final decision-maker for the Hornets in their absence of an owner since the league took over the franchise in 2010 from George Shinn. The deal consummated Thursday would've sent Paul to the Lakers, who would've Gasol to the Rockets and Odom to the Hornets. New Orleans also would've received Martin, Scola, Goran Dragic and a first-round pick from Houston -- a solid haul by Hornets GM Dell Demps under the circumstances in the eyes of many of his fellow executives.

Paul, among the biggest stars and most electrifying guards in the league, has an early-termination option after the season and can become an unrestricted free agent July 1. He already has declined a contract extension with New Orleans, and it is a foregone conclusion that he would leave as a free agent with his preferred destination being the Knicks.

New York, which last season added Amar'e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony, decided not to wait for the Paul saga to play itself out and acquired Chandler in a sign-and-trade that gave the Knicks among the most formidable frontcourts in the NBA. It was through some creative cap maneuvering -- words perhaps never before associated with the franchise -- that the Knicks were able to jump ahead of the heavily favored Warriors and land Chandler. By transforming the deal into a sign-and-trade, Mavs owner Mark Cuban created the space to acquire Odom, one of the most skilled and versatile big men in the league who he has long coveted.

In another domino effect of this furious post-lockout player movement, the Warriors plan to sign Clippers restricted free agent DeAndre Jordan to a four-year, $40 million offer sheet Sunday after they clear the cap space to accommodate his first-year salary of about $9 million. The Warriors also had been engaged in trade talks with the Hornets for Paul, but were unwilling to include guard Stephen Curry in the discussions.


Since: Apr 8, 2010
Posted on: December 11, 2011 2:53 am

Lakers pull out of Paul talks

The NBA is a joke. Stern vetoes the trade sending Paul to the Lakers because he wants to protect the small market teams like the Hornets. Great job, now the Hornets have everyone in the league afraid to trade with them and they run the risk of getting nothing for Paul if they can't work out a trade. Three bona fide starters (including Kevin Martin who is an all-star), a mid first round pick, and a quality backup is not enough for Paul? What does Stern want a team to do, trade their whole starting five and all their draft picks next year for him? Great job protecting the Hornets, Dave.

Since: Sep 5, 2011
Posted on: December 11, 2011 2:48 am

Lakers pull out of Paul talks

I bet in 3 months Odom and Kardashin get a divorce because he doesnt play for L.A. anymore and thats her playground and her fame, she will not like not being in the spotlight. You heard it here first!

Since: Sep 5, 2011
Posted on: December 11, 2011 2:35 am

Lakers pull out of Paul talks

I love it, talk about total chaos, so far this has been the greatest NBA season ever! Two Thumbs up!!! I hope N.O. can't trade Paul just to make the drama thicker and this would be the perfect season. I cant wait to see what happens next, this is better then Reality TV.

Since: Apr 14, 2011
Posted on: December 11, 2011 2:25 am

Lakers pull out of Paul talks

The original deal was a bad one for the Lakers and once they got to think about it, they thought so too.  The NBA must have thought the same thing once they killed the original offer, so at least they saved the Lakers and put them in front of the line for the 2012 and beyond championships.  Dan Gilbert and David Stern must be closet Laker fans.

 The rest of the media idiots who had your thoughtless knee-jerk reaction to how the NBA responded to the original deal should go taste the business end of a double barrel shotgun.  Had you creeps kept your traps shut, the original deal would have gone through.  Now you guys have hurt the Rockets and the Hornets especially, because Chris Paul is now radioactive to any team who wants to deal.  Odom is gone because he was disconsolate after being traded then returned to the Lakers.

You writers and "look at me, I'm smart" talking heads make us sick with your "sky is falling" chicken little routine.  All you have done is tried to embarrass the NBA and they buckled down.  Once again, the media bias to the Lakers is more obvious with every word that rolls off of your forked tongues.  The Buss family and the frontrunners who call themselves the "Laker nation" are grateful to all you Pharisees for hand delivering Dwight Howard to Hollywood.  You allegedly neutral media should be ashamed of yourselves for your alleged neutrality to any franchise.  You are not truth tellers, to say the least.

Since: Aug 21, 2008
Posted on: December 11, 2011 2:08 am

Lakers pull out of Paul talks

In addition to the end of my last post... Hakeem was a prolific scorer, David Robinson was a prolific scorer, and neither of them had his insane athletic ability. Remember, David Robinson scored more points in one game than Jordan ever did. Has Howard ever gone over 45 points? Robinson recorded a quadruple double in a game once. He won a scoring title. Thats prolific. Howard is no where near that echelon of scoring

Since: Aug 21, 2008
Posted on: December 11, 2011 2:05 am

Lakers pull out of Paul talks

It's a good thing tht somebody in the Los Angeles Lakers' front office finally woke up and nixed the Chris Paul 3-team trade proposal.

The Lakers don't need Chris Paul.  Chris Paul needs the Lakers... if he's ever going to win a championship ring.

What the Lakers needed they should have gotten last year when Carmelo Anthony was making a move out of Denver.  But the Lakers slept that deal.

Kobe Bryant's age is beginning to show and his body is a lot worse for the intense defensive pressure heaped on him every second of every game.

The Lakers need someone who can take some of the heat of Kobe and share a good portion of the offensive load.  Carmelo could have done that.

The Lakers don't ned a ball-distributor like Chris Paul.  Anybody on the Lakers roster right now can do that.

What the Lakers need is a prolific scorer with a presence on the boards.  That's what their next trade proposal should focus on.

Hint!  Hint!

Faster than a speeding bullet!

More powerful than a locomotive!

And able to leap tall buildings in a single bound!


It's a bird!

It's a plane!

No, it's Superman!

Dwight  Howard a prolific scorer? Anyone can distribute the ball like Paul does? No one is going to read your post and take it with a grain of salt. My 4 year old could have written a post with more factual NBA info in it. They have 2 7 footers now, that was their strength.. And their weakness, and the main reason why they couldnt win the west was their weakness at the point. They had no one that could guard the opposing teams PG and their PG could never really be an assist leader or a scorer. Im not saying Paul was the answer to all their problems, esp when they are giving up Pau and Lamar, but dont diminish what Paul can do and does better than anyone in the NBA by saying anyone can do it. If that was true they wouldnt have gone after him in the first place. Hes a great player. Dwight Howard is phenomenal on the defense side of the ball and on the boards, but he is too nice (and when he gets mad, too dirty with those 'bows) to be someone like Shaq was on offense. With his size and athetic ability there is no reason this dude shouldnt be pushing 30 pts a game and 15 boards. Its actually embarrassing watching his offensive game. Its evolved slighty, but no where near what it could and should be. But having said that I think Howard helps the lakers more than Paul would. lol. I just cant call Howard a prolific scorer. not by any means.

Since: Apr 10, 2008
Posted on: December 11, 2011 2:02 am

Lakers pull out of Paul talks

According to Yahoo Sports, The Hornets had delivered a reconstructed framework of the three-team blockbuster trade that would have sent Paul to the Lakers into the NBA office for approval Saturday, but the NBA still refused to approve it.

So apparently the league is hell bent on watching Paul walk to the Lakers in the Off Season.

Very funny, now the Lakers just need to make sure Howard will sign a extension, and make the best deal but not overdo it to get Howard and Turkoglu, then amnesty Turkoglu when they need to, and sign Paul.

They should be able to have a team of Howard, FA (they will need to sign a FA to fill this spot, doesn't need to be anyone but a solid rebounder and defensiveman, offense need not apply), MWP, Kobe, Paul

Yeah that worked out great Stern you sure stopped a Lebron incident from happening. No really he may have, there will be no need for a 1hr length show to know where Paul is going. 

Since: Aug 2, 2007
Posted on: December 11, 2011 2:01 am

Lakers pull out of Paul talks

Now they will trade L Odem to the Mavs and get 2 or 3 picks and send tose picks along with A Bynum to the Magic 4 Dwight Howard.
We might even get to keep Pau!!! I would love to have Pau , Howard and Kobe on the same team!!!!!

Since: Oct 22, 2008
Posted on: December 11, 2011 1:52 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Dec 10, 2006
Posted on: December 11, 2011 1:46 am

Lakers pull out of Paul talks

LOKO: you are bang on. Paul has handled this the right way. Odom is crying like a girl.

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