LOS ANGELES CA - FEBRUARY 20: Chris Paul #3 of the New Orleans Hornets and the Western Conference talks with Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers and the Western Conference in the 2011 NBA All-Star Game at Staples Center on February 20 2011 in Los Angeles California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and or using this photograph User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Note: We've closed comments on this one to consolidate the thread up top. We'll post updates there as they fly in.
11:13 AM: With the Lakers widely reported to be low-balling the Hornets for Chris Paul with the Warriors and Clippers refusing to put their better prospects in the deal in absence of an assurance from Paul that he will resign, the process has been at a deadlock between Boston and L.A., as New Orleans has some pretty poor packages in front of them for their marquee player. Well, that might be changing pretty quickly. From the Twitter account of SI's Sam Amick:
League sources say the Houston has been trying to put together a three-team deal with the Lakers and New Orleans in which Paul goes to LA.
This makes a lot of sense from Houston's perspective if they feel that they're out of running for Nene or Samuel Dalembert, as they are in serious need of a center with Chuck Hayes signing in Sacramento and draft bust Hasheem Thabeet as the only other center on the roster.
We have only supposition right now, but one would think that Houston wants Emeka Okafor, a solid defensive five, from New Orleans, As such, Houston wants Pau Gasol to man the middle and is willing to facilitate the deal between the Lakers and Hornets by sending some pieces -- which Daryl Morey, one of the better GMs in the league, has no shortage of -- to New Orleans to sweeten the Lakers' package.
In other words, this is freaking awesome. For this, and the sheer hatred Bill Simmons will direct at Morey if he makes this go down.
More updates as they come after the jump:
UPDATE (11:20 AM): Confirmed by Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski, who drops some more tidbits:
As http://SI.com reports, the Lakers, Hornets and Rockets are engaged in 3-way talks on deal that would send Chris Paul to Lakers.
The Lakers are trying to do a deal for Chris Paul that will allow them to keep Andrew Bymum, front office source says.
UPDATE (11:24 AM): And if you were curious as to whether NO has been serious about these discussions, here is SI's Chris Mannix:
Hornets have quietly checked out league wide interest in Pau last 48 hours. Called New Jersey, Nets not interested.
UPDATE (11:31 AM): Ignore everything I wrote above about the Rockets wanting Okafor. They're edging for Pau, and will likely send New Orleans a wealth of prospects and picks in return. Here is TNT's David Aldridge:
SI.com reports Lakers, Rockets, Hornets engaged in CP3 talks. That is indeed the case. Gasol would go to HOU.
UPDATE (Noon): From Marc Spears on Twitter...
Names talked about in CP3 3-way are: CP to Lakers, Gasol to HOU & Kevin Martin & Luis Scola and possible picks to Hornets, source tells Y!
UPDATE (1:10 PM): From Woj on Twitter...
Hornets cooling on idea of Boston needing involvement of 3rd team, considering package of Rajon Rondo, Jeff Green and picks for Chris Paul.
UPDATE (1:35 PM): From Chris Tomasson...
Source says Hornets thought they were very close to a deal to send Chris Paul to Lakers but then Lakers backed off. To be continued.
UPDATE (2:30 PM): Bad news from Woj...
The Hornets are expressing trepidation to those talking to them about three-team framework with Lakers and Rockets, league sources say.
UPDATE (2:40 PM): From Alex Kennedy...
Source says that the Lakers and Hornets had agreed to a deal involving Chris Paul, but the Lakers reneged. "Dell [Demps] is very upset."
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