A trade deal that would have sent point guard Chris Paul of the New Orleans Hornets to the LA Lakers was nixed for the second time on Saturday night.
On Thursday night, NBA commissioner and de facto Hornets owner David Stern vetoed the deal, which would have sent the Rockets’ Kevin Martin and Luis Scola to New Orleans and Lakers forward Pau Gasol to Houston.
The parties involved in the trade deal spent the last two days trying to satisfy the NBA’s orders for the hornets to acquire either more draft picks or younger talent, but then the Lakers pulled out.
Sport Illustrated reports that a source involved in the talks said, “The price was too high.”
However, the Lakers wasted no time and spun another deal that involves forward Lamar Odom being traded to the Dallas Mavericks, one of the Lakers’ biggest rivals. The Associated Press said that Dallas coach Rick Carlisle confirmed Odom’s departure.
The trade is for a first-round pick in the 2012 amateur draft.
According to the LA Times’ Lakers Blog, Kobe Bryant is not happy. He told the Times, “I don’t like it. I’ve known Lamar for a long time, and for the team itself, he's meant a lot in terms of his versatility, his personality. He's a big presence for us in the locker room, just from a team chemistry standpoint. He's great at bringing guys together and things of that nature.
"I trust management knows what they're doing. I let them do their jobs, I never get in the way but it's tough. You're talking about Sixth Man of the Year last year. He played lights out."
The Lakers currently are not sure who will be a part of their lineup when they host the Chicago Bulls in two weeks for their season opener. Point guard Derek Fisher told the AP, “As a basketball player, it confuses you as to what your focus should be.”
The Lakers acquired Odom in 2004 as part of the Shaquille O-Neal trade. Last season, he won the Sixth Man of the Year Award after averaging 8.7 rebounds and 14.4 points. This season he is due $8.9 million and $8.2 million next season with a $2.5 million guarantee.
New York Daily News says that Odom’s wife, Khloe Kardashian tweeted, “We are sad but positive energy gets you farther than negative.” In response to an outpouring of comments from fans, later she also wrote, “I am sure I will love it but I am a tad thrown off.”