Lakers’ deal for Chris Paul now appears dead

Multiple outlets are reporting now that the NBA, which owns the New Orleans Hornets, has pulled the plug on the proposed three-team trade that would have sent Chris Paul to the Lakers, Pau Gasol from the Lakers to the Houston Rockets and Lamar Odom from the Lakers to the Hornets. The league has owned the team since George Shinn sold it last season, creating a sticky situation in which deals would have to be approved by the NBA.

Last season, now retired coach Lakers coach Phil Jackson predicted big problems when it came time for the Hornets to make a trade with Paul. Jackson accurately pointed out the possibility that the league would be criticized by unhappy suitors if Paul were to be dealt. Paul can become a free agent at season’s end and the conventional wisdom suggests it would be smart for the Hornets to trade him rather than have him walk away without gaining anything in return.

“Wow,” Paul tweeted within the last 15 minutes.

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