Los Angeles Lakers: Paul Gasol

Report: Chris Paul wants out of New Orleans, L.A. on his short list

July, 22, 2010
Kamenetzky By Brian Kamenetzky
On the first day, (the Hypothetical Basketball Trade) God(s) created Andrew Bynum for Jason Kidd. Next, Bynum for Jermaine O'Neal. Then Bynum for Kevin Garnett.

During the 2009-10 season, H.B.T.G. created Bynum for Chris Bosh.

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Chris Paul and Kobe Bryant have been teammates on the All-Star team... could they be the same with the Lakers?

Wednesday, he created Bynum for Chris Paul, and he said "Ooooh, this could be good... or at the very least should keep the bloggers busy."

Ken Berger of CBS Sports.com reports CP3, frustrated with his team's direction and inspired by the formation of Miami's SuperTeam has, through members of his inner circle, informed the Hornets of his desire to be traded before the start of the season. Paul, Berger writes, names three preferred destinations: New York, Orlando, and-- wait for it-- the Lakers. Since he's unquestionably their most viable trade commodity, any deal sending Paul to L.A. would almost assuredly send Bynum to the bayou.

I could mention here how unlikely it is to actually happen, but what's the fun in that? It's summertime. Feel free to fire up your speculation machines.

Andy and I had a chance to speak with Berger on Wednesday night, sitting in with A Martinez on 710 ESPN's Martinez and Long Show. Berger does a great job mapping the landscape of the situation, based both on what he's hearing and his analysis. Among the most salient points for Lakers fans:
  • The Hornets, with a new coach (Monty Williams) and GM (Dell Demps), will try and sell Paul on a new course in New Orleans before any deal is made, only pulling the trigger if it's clear they have to. Paul can't become a free agent until after the 2011-12 season.
  • New Orleans probably would insist any team getting Paul would have to take on center Emeka Okafor, owed about $50 million over the next four seasons. Adding Okafor to any deal makes things more complicated for the Lakers, thanks to the salary cap rules governing trades (among other issues).
  • Berger says he believes the Knicks are well positioned to make something happen, more so than L.A.

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Nick Young
17.9 1.5 0.7 28.3
ReboundsP. Gasol 9.7
AssistsK. Marshall 8.8
StealsJ. Meeks 1.4
BlocksP. Gasol 1.5