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Lakers to acquire Chris Paul for Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom

December 8, 2011 |  4:26 pm


The Lakers agreed to acquire All-Star point guard Chris Paul from New Orleans for power forwards Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom in a three-team deal Thursday also involving Houston, a move that symbolizes a shift from finesse, precision and depth in the Lakers' frontcourt to speed and athleticism in their backcourt.

"It's a done deal," said a person familiar with the trade who was not authorized to talk publicly.

The Lakers are expected to acquire at least one other player in the deal to play power forward. It was unclear which player, but it's possible the Lakers would also receive veteran New Orleans center-forward Emeka Okafor.

PHOTOS: Lamar Odom through the years

Paul, 26, might be the best scoring-passing combo guard in the league and can even rebound well for a player listed at 6 feet, giving the Lakers their first dynamic point guard since Magic Johnson. Paul could have become a free agent next July, so the Hornets wanted to trade him before this season to avoid the distractions that befell the Denver Nuggets with Carmelo Anthony last season.

Paul’s contract calls for $16.4 million this season and a player option for $17.8 million next season. He will almost surely sign an extension with the Lakers.

Paul's stats were actually down last season after he underwent surgery in January 2010 to repair torn cartilage in his left knee. He averaged 15.8 points, 9.8 assists and 4.1 rebounds a game, a dip from career averages of 18.7 points, 9.9 assists and 4.6 rebounds. He played 80 games last season after playing only 45 in 2009-10.

Gasol, 31, is a four-time All-Star whose acquisition from Memphis in 2008 spurred the Lakers to two NBA championships in three NBA Finals appearances. However, he slipped badly in last season's playoffs, averaging 13.1 points and shooting 42%. He is due $57 million over the next three seasons, including $18.7 million this season.

Odom, 32, was acquired by the Lakers in 2004 as part of the Shaquille O'Neal trade. He won the Sixth Man of the Year award last season after averaging 14.4 points and 8.7 rebounds a game. He was due $8.9 million this season and a partly guaranteed $8.2 million next season.


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Chris Paul for Gasol and Odom, good deal or bad?

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--Mike Bresnahan

Photo: Chris Paul (3) pressures Lakers point guard Derek Fisher on a drive during a playoff game last season with the Hornets. Credit: Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times