"So we're not going to be teammates?"
First it was Albert Pujols heading out to Los Angeles this morning in a blockbuster transaction.
Now, it's Chris Paul's turn to take his talents there as well.
In a controversial blockbuster trade reported by various news outlets, the NBA-owned small market New Orleans Hornets will be trading their superstar to the big market Los Angeles Lakers literally at the same time the new collective bargaining treatment was getting ratified by the NBA. You know, the same NBA that wanted more "parity" in the league which resulted in a standing off between the owners and the players for 161 days.
Folks, you can't make this stuff up.
“It’s not finalized, but we’re close,” one front-office official involved in the negotiations said.
Hornets general manager Dell Demps informed two of the other finalists for Paul on Thursday evening that he had a deal in place for Paul to go the Lakers, front-office sources said.
The Lakers will be sending Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol to the Hornets for the All-Star point guard, who can opt this year on his current deal. Any talk of a future contract extension with the Lakers has not been reported but it's certainly a no-brainer that the Lakers are confident CP3 will continue with the team past this new season.
The Hornets managed to rope in the Rockets into the proposed trade and will be routing Pau Gasol to Houston in exchange for Luis Scola, Kevin Martin, Goran Dragic and a 2012 first round pick (via the New York Knicks, top-5 protected). There is some talk that Emeka Okafor may go to L.A. in the deal but at this point there is no confirmation. It's also unclear how the Hornets will balance out the salaries in their exchange of players with the Rockets.
Obviously, the Lakers' dream scenario of acquiring Dwight Howard for Andrew Bynum is still in play, though it remains to be seen if the Orlando Magic are enamored of acquiring the talented, but injury-prone, center. There is also a question of what remaining Lakers assets would be interesting to the Magic.
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