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Chris Paul Trade Rumors: Pau Gasol To Houston, Luis Scola And Kevin Martin To New Orleans For CP3 To Lakers?

UpdateChris Paul trade is done

The Los Angeles Lakers are apparently very intrigued at the thought of New Orleans point guard Chris Paul playing for them in their backcourt, and they're willing to make a deal. That deal might include the departure of their all-star power forward Pau Gasol. Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated speculates on a potential three-team deal that would involve the Houston Rockets as well.

The Lakers have been in the hunt for Paul since the beginning, but L.A.'s reluctance to include Andrew Bynum in any deal for Paul has prevented talks from advancing. The Lakers prefer to hold on to Bynum as the possible centerpiece of trade talks with Orlando for Dwight Howard. The Hornets are not interested in Gasol (who has three years and $57 million left on his deal), but in the last 48 hours they have put out feelers to try and gauge league-wide interest in the 31-year-old forward.

Houston has been been actively pursuing centers. Rockets officials have met with Nuggets big man Nene and Kings center Samuel Dalembert in the last week. While a source close to Nene said he has not made any decision, rival executives believe he is headed back to Denver, likely at a max or near-max deal. However, Houston is also still in the mix for the big man. Houston wants Gasol, who would become the low post presence the Rockets have craved since Yao Ming went down with injuries.

 Gasol has been great for Los Angeles, but he's coming off his worst season as a Laker, and the emergence of Andrew Bynum might mean his days as a starter are limited. With the Lakers willing to commit to Bynum, that means Gasol has to go if any deal for CP3 is going to be made. Houston needs a big man like Gasol to replace the now retired Yao Ming, and New Orleans gets some crucial assets. And LA gets CP3, while the rest of the Western Conference cowers in fear. Good for everyone!

To discuss the possibility of Paul on the Lakers, head to Silver Screen and Roll. To discuss the idea of Gasol on the Rockets, go to The Dream Shake. To talk about Scola and Martin on the Hornets, head to At The Hive.