Lakers' talks with Hornets for Chris Paul get more serious
The Lakers have taken stronger steps in their talks with the Hornets for perennial All-Star guard Chris Paul, according to an individual familiar with discussions but not authorized to speak publicly about it.
The Hornets are not interested in acquiring Pau Gasol, so the Houston Rockets have been approached as a third team in discussions to help the Lakers acquire Paul, who can become a free agent after this season.
Under one proposal, Houston would send Luis Scola and Kevin Martin to New Orleans, the Lakers would send Gasol to Houston and the Lakers would get Paul. There would be peripheral players involved as well to make the salaries match up under rules of the new collective-bargaining agreement.
Over the last week, the Lakers had mostly short-lived conversations with New Orleans about Chris Paul, though Thursday marked a change in direction. Friday is the first day of training camp, as well as the first day free agents can sign with another team.
The Lakers' discussions with the Orlando Magic for Dwight Howard remain slow.
Photo: Pau Gasol puts defensive pressure on Chris Paul as Derek Fisher looks on during the 2011 NBA playoffs. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times.