The Chris Paul to Los Angeles rumors are alive and kicking once again, although in the latest report to come out, it's the Clippers to be the ones moving closer to a deal. Do not count out the Lakers, though, as it appears the team may still be interested in working out a deal after reportedly backing out of the sweepstakes over the weekend. Marc Stein and Chris Broussard have the latest news:
League officials representing the New Orleans Hornets and the Los Angeles Clippers continued discussions into Tuesday night on a trade that would put Chris Paul on the same team with Blake Griffin, according to sources briefed on the talks.
But the sides have yet to find a framework that satisfies both, sources said, with the NBA not relenting on its desire to acquire the Clippers' top five available trade assets in return for Paul, who would invoke the 2012-13 option in his contract as part of any trade between the teams to ensure the Clippers would have him for at least two seasons.
"They're still asking for everyone," said one source with knowledge of the Clippers' thinking.
It still sounds like the Hornets are set on moving Paul, it's only a matter of which team blinks first and presents the offer New Orleans is looking for. There is no denying just how valuable the All-Star point guard is and luring him to Los Angeles will not come cheap.
As for the Lakers and their continued involvement:
ESPN.com learned Tuesday that a Lakers deal for Paul has not yet been ruled out, contingent on the fact that they can recruit at least one other team to supply some of the young pieces that the league is demanding. But the Lakers do still have Pau Gasol as a centerpiece, who could either replace Paul as the Hornets' franchise player or give New Orleans a top-20 player to be dangled in subsequent deals.
"The Lakers are definitely still in this," said one source close to the talks.
It's tough to imagine the Lakers having enough pieces to entice the Hornets, especially with Lamar Odom now on the Mavericks, but anything is possible when you have two quality big men at your disposal as LA does with Gasol and Andrew Bynum. The league is rumored to prefer the Clippers as the landing spot for CP3, but honestly, they may not care any longer if this potential deal continues to linger around.