Lakers resume talks with New Orleans for Chris Paul trade
When New Orleans General Manager Dell Demps was given the green light by the NBA to resume trade discussions, one of his first calls, naturally, was to the Lakers on Friday afternoon.
The Lakers, Hornets and Houston Rockets have again picked up talks on the Chris Paul trade that was blocked Thursday by the NBA.
“They’re re-engaging,” said a person familiar with negotiations. “We’ll see what happens.”
The Hornets were told they did not get enough young talent in the original deal, which included Pau Gasol going to Houston and Lamar Odom to New Orleans. The Hornets also acquired guards Kevin Martin and Goran Dragic and a first-round draft pick from Houston.
NBA Commissioner David Stern released a statement earlier Friday in which he said the decision to strike down the original deal was based on “the best interests of the Hornets.”
He added that New Orleans was “better served with Chris in a Hornets uniform than by the outcome of the terms of that trade.”
The NBA purchased the Hornets last December.
Meanwhile, the Lakers congregated at their El Segundo facility on the first day of training camp. Odom, however, was not present, at least not for long. According to Associated Press, Odom arrived more than 90 minutes late, then left early after meeting with Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak.
“To me, I would think it’s better to stay away,” Odom told The Times in a phone interview. “You know, the energy and all.
“I don’t know how it’s going to go right now. It’s a little weird.”
Gasol was present at the facility, but he did not talk to reporters because, the team said, he had sustained a strained right quadriceps and was sent for a medical test.
--Mike Bresnahan and Broderick Turner
Photo: Hornets point guard Chris Paul and Lakers guard Kobe Bryant share some words during a break in a game. Credit: Lucy Nicholson / Reuters