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Saturday , Jan , 14 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Will the Lakers say goodbye to ‘World Peace’?

“I don’t have any issues … it’s not even an issue,” World Peace said. “The issue is that we won. We won, so it doesn’t even matter. It’s one team that’s working on winning and that’s all that matters.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Ron Artest, also known as Metta World Peace, is saying the right things. Problem is, he’s doing the wrong things on-court.

Artest deserves credit for accepting his recent benching against the Cleveland Cavaliers with dignity. The former Defensive Player of the Year didn’t complain to reporters about sitting the entire game.

Yes, Artest watched all 48 minutes, earning his first Did Not Play-Coach’s Decision.

To be blunt, the forward is a shadow of his former self. He doesn't defend. He’s uncomfortable down-low, where new coach Mike Brown plays him. And his intensity from the 2010 championship is gone.
 
Remember, Artest struggled mightily last year, and isn’t even worth the discounted mid-level exception salary he signed for in 2009.

Bottom line: Artest’s play improves or the capped-out Lakers will likely cut him via the amnesty clause to gain financial flexibility.

--Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

 

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Friday , Jan , 13 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Report: Al Horford out 3-4 months?

The Hawks say Al Horford will miss 3-4 months with a torn pectoral muscle suffered during last night’s 96-84 loss at Indiana.. Horford is to get a second opinion on whether to proceed with the surgery. Under the most most optimistic time frame, Horford would return in mid-April. Atlanta’s final regular-season game is scheduled for April 26.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Whatever slim shot the Atlanta Hawks had at acquiring Dwight Howard is likely gone.

After all, the Hawks were reportedly offering Al Horford and Joe Johnson to the Magic in exchange for Howard. Horford's injured pectoral muscle complicates things.

Of course, Howard, an Atlanta native, wouldn't sign an extension with the Hawks, as he prefers a bigger market to land lucrative sponsors and transition into the entertainment industry.

Think Los Angeles. Think New York. Maybe Dallas, if owner Mark Cuban works his magic. Not Atlanta, especially with Horford on the injured list for an extended period.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Sunday , Jan , 08 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Dwight Howard to stay in Orlando … with Deron Williams?

Local 6 Sports Director David Pingalore has learned that Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard may be rethinking his trade request. In December, Howard told the Magic he would want to be traded to either the New Jersey Nets, Dallas Mavericks or Los Angeles Lakers.Multiple NBA sources confirmed to Pingalore that Howard has been heavily recruiting New Jersey Nets point guard Deron Williams to play with him in Orlando. Pingalore has also learned the Magic are trying to trade for Williams. Pingalore's sources confirmed that Howard would rather stay in Orlando, and the sources said that it's an "80 percent" chance Howard stays.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Will he stay? Will he go?

The Dwight Howard merry-go-round has again taken another turn, as the All-Star post is reconsidering his trade request and may sign a long-term extension with the Orlando Magic.

Forget the rumors involving the Lakers and Andrew Bynum and/or Pau Gasol.

Forget the gossip about the soon-to-be Brooklyn Nets.

And forget the speculation about Howard’s rift with Magic executive Otis Smith.

In the end, it may not matter because the former Slam Dunk champion is seriously considering staying in Orlando.

There’s a catch: Howard wants Deron Williams to join him. The muscular table-setter is unhappy with the Nets and, like Howard, can become a free agent in July.

This is a surprise. Most of us knew Howard and Williams had interest in partnering up, however, we assumed it would happen in a major market like Brooklyn, not Orlando.

After all, Brooklyn would allow both superstars to maximize marketing and business opportunities in New York, while Orlando is a smaller city tucked away in Florida.

So, Howard’s future remains up in the air. And the debate over whether he stays or goes will continue for some time.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Saturday , Jan , 07 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Kobe: Bynum, not Gasol, is Lakers’ No. 2 option

Now it's Kobe, then Bynum, then Gasol. "It seems like it's changed a little bit," Bryant said after the Lakers' 97-90 win over the Golden State Warriors on Friday. "Andrew is thirsty to score and he can score. He has more of a scorer's mentality [than Gasol], so we'll take advantage of that."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: He’s number two with a bullet.

According to Kobe Bryant, Andrew Bynum, the team’s young and massive center, has surpassed Pau Gasol as the Los Angeles Lakers’ second option.

Opponents have no answer for Bynum’s height, size, and length, especially when the former lottery pick receives the ball deep in the paint.

Here’s the real question: will Bryant ever let Bynum take his spot as the Lakers’ first option?

To some extent, the process is already underway. After all, Jim Buss, the owner’s son, is running the club. He drafted, developed, and refused to trade Bynum. And he let Phil Jackson leave/retire and hired Mike Brown, in part, because the former Cleveland Cavaliers’ sideline boss agreed to empower Bynum.

Bryant, at 33, is getting older. He’s played a ton of basketball and his body has sustained great wear and tear.

Currently the five time champion is battling wrist and knee issues, so Brown may start this transition by encouraging the Lakers to become more of an inside-outside team.

Inside is code for going to Bynum first. Outside is code for going to Bryant second, after Bynum has drawn an extra defender.

Of course, will Bryant let this happen?

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Saturday , Jan , 07 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Chris Paul to Jimmy Kimmel: I wasn’t mad about joining the Clippers

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It wasn’t as crazy as Ron Artest or Johnny Drama’s appearance on Jimmy Kimmel, but Chris Paul’s chat with the late night host is worth watching.

The star point guard discusses the Clippers, the nixed trade to the Lakers, and life off the court, so click the video and enjoy.


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Thursday , Jan , 05 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Mike Brown: Kobe Bryant has earned Freedom

“That’s why we sit and watch and tape afterwards,” continued Brown.  “So we can better understand where he wants the ball or he can better understand what I want on this particular possession or anything like that. I think it’s pretty neat that everybody’s making a big deal of it but it’s early in the process, I’m getting to know him, he’s got the five . . . championship rings, so he’s been there and done that.  I’m going to give him some freedom.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Kobe Bryant is still The King. For now.

Some feel the Los Angeles Lakers are a franchise in transition, as Andrew Bynum takes on a greater role in the offense.

Just don’t tell Bryant, the reigning Alpha Male and Alpha Dog in La-La land. The former MVP and five-time champion still shoots at will -witness his recent 6-for-28 shooting performance.

Something larger is at play, though. For instance, the Lakers are a fractured organization. Jim Buss, the boss’ son, hired Mike Brown as coach in part because he would empower Bynum.

Of course, Buss claims he drafted and developed Bynum. And the better Bynum does, the better Buss feels about his status as a basketball executive.

So, it’s complicated.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Tuesday , Jan , 03 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Lakers offered Gasol for Love?

Sources say the Lakers offered Paul Gasol to the T’Wolves for Kevin Love after the league canceled the Chris Paul trade. Wouldn’t you?

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Why not? The Los Angeles Lakers had nothing to lose, right?

Commissioner David Stern nixed the Chris Paul trade, so the Lakes again offered Pau Gasol to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Kevin Love.

Not surprisingly, the Timberwolves said thanks but no thanks.

Love is younger than Gasol. Love is better than Gasol. And Love makes less money than Gasol.

The Timberwolves will only trade Love if he turns down a long-term extension. However, the 2011 rebounding champion is under contract for two more seasons and seems interested in staying.

Credit the Lakers for taking a shot at Love. It willl take more than Gasol, though.

--Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below. 

 

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Friday , Dec , 30 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Carmelo Anthony: Chris Paul should be a Laker

“I thought it would have been good for the Lakers and good for the whole NBA,” Anthony said. “As a guy who loves to compete, I would have liked to see him out West with the Lakers. For me — I’ve been battling the Lakers for the last seven years when I was in the Western Conference — I liked that.” But Anthony won’t see Paul Thursday night when the Knicks take on the Lakers at Staples Center.

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Everybody has an opinion -especially the superstar of the rival New York Knicks.

Carmelo Anthony, like most of the general public, believes Chris Paul should be a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, and not the cross-town Clippers.

Most feel Commissioner David Stern stopped the purple-and-gold, the league’s greatest market, from acquiring Paul because the NBA, who owns the Hornets, had just spent four months locking out the players because of the power of 'have' franchises.

After all, how would it look if the Lakers got Paul on the same day the league ratified a new, more equal CBA?

Not good.

So Stern took action. And Anthony is talking.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Friday , Dec , 23 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Matt Barnes to Blake Griffin and Clippers: act like you’ve dunked before

“It’s a preseason game,’ Barnes said after Thursday’s practice at the Lakers’ facility in El Segundo. ‘Yeah, they’re catching lobs and dunking. But it’s just a preseason game. Let’s just play basketball. If you make a dunk, act like you’ve done it before. He’s got hundreds of them. There’s no need for the hoorah after every single dunk. It’s unnecessary.’

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Los Angeles’ two NBA teams, the Clippers and Lakers, don’t care for each other. Not one bit.

After all, Los Angeles was always a Laker town. They had The Logo, Wilt the Stilt, Kareem, Magic, Big Game James, Shaq-Fu, Kobe Bean, Andrew Bynum, and others.

While the Clippers could never attract or keep top talent because owner Donald Sterling wouldn’t open his wallet or spend the luxury tax payments he received from league head office.

This age-old dynamic is changing. The (natural) order of Los Angeles’ basketball teams could flip flop in 2012.  

The Lakers, who are still talented, are in transition, while the Clippers have Chris Paul at point guard; Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan down low;  and veterans like Chauncey Billups, Caron Butler, and Mo Williams.

Here’s the biggest shock: the Clippers are the glamour team. Griffin and Jordan’s aerial antics will receive endless love on ESPN, youtube, and twitter.

And some, like the Lakers' Matt Barnes, don't appreciate the post dunks celebrations.

Too bad.

Barnes better realize times have changed. These are the new Clippers.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

 

 

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Monday , Dec , 19 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Kobe Bryant: I want to stay with Lakers

Q: Do you see yourself retiring with the Lakers? There’s been speculation you might want a change.

Bryant: “I don’t know where that comes from. I don’t have any feeling about [leaving] whatsoever.”

Q: So you definitely want to stay a Laker?

Bryant: “Of course. No question. Why not? I’ve been here for 16 years. I’m going to up and leave now?”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The Black Mamba isn’t going anywhere. Unless he wants to.

Yesterday Kobe Bryant, the superstar guard for the Los Angeles Lakers, told Yahoo Sports he would not be asking management for a trade.

Bryant has perhaps the best contract in sports. He earns between $25-30 million per annum; holds a no trade clause; and receives a large portion of his salary early in the season, which can then be invested.

Translation: Bryant isn’t upset about the changes in Laker-land.

He will work with new coach Mike Brown -even though he’s not Brian Shaw. He accepts that Andrew Bynum will have a greater role. And he has forgiven management for tying Lamar Odom in a bow and giving him as a gift to the world champion Dallas Mavericks.

All is good between Bryant and the team he has spent sixteen years with. For now.

--Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below with thoughts.

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Sunday , Dec , 18 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Dwight Howard on Orlando: ‘I love this city’

During the player introductions Saturday, Howard received a standing ovation. He said that moment was special for him.

“It was emotional,” he said. “It was great to see their reaction. And like I’ve told you guys from day one, I love this city. … When I came here, everybody called our team the Orlando Tragic. I wanted to change it. Nobody says tragic anymore.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Perhaps there is hope.

Perhaps the fan support will influence Dwight Howard to rescind his trade demand, avoid opting-out of his contract next July, and sign a long-term extension with the Orlando Magic.

Such a scenario is unlikely.

Howard wants a larger market, superstar teammates, and a chance at winning a championship each year.

This means he must take flight for one of the NBA’s major markets. Think Los Angeles, but only if the Lakers give up Andrew Bynum, the golden boy in the organization. Think New Jersey, but only if the Nets re-sign point guard Deron Williams. Think Dallas, but only if the Mavericks can clear the necessary cap space.

Yesterday was positive. So there is hope for Orlando fans. Just not much of it.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Sunday , Dec , 18 , 2011 Diego Garcia

Rumor: Arenas has four-team wish list?

And I’m told that Arenas, in the wake of his Orlando release, has established a four-team wish list for resuming his comeback from the gunplay debacle in Washington that derailed his career and an unsuccessful stint with the Magic. The 29-year-old is holding out hope that the call comes from either the: • Lakers … • Heat … • Knicks … Link HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It’s Christmas, so why shouldn’t Gilbert Arenas have a wish list? Why shouldn’t a fading, shot-first combo guard, with a questionable attitude demand to play for top teams like the Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, New York Knicks, or whatever team Dwight Howard ends up on? Perhaps Santa will provide this gift. Or perhaps the Lakers, Heat, and whatever team Howard goes to will have enough sense to steer clear of Arenas -even if he comes at a bargain basement wage. There are rumors the Knicks will roll the dice on Arenas, but with a star-studded frontcourt they’d be better off chasing blending players. Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
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Sunday , Dec , 18 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Lakers to sign Troy Murphy?

Troy Murphy has agreed to a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Lakers, a league source told Yahoo! Sports.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: He’s not Chris Paul or Dwight Howard, but Troy Murphy is something.

Yesterday, the Los Angeles Lakers inked stretch-four Troy Murphy to a one-year contract likely for a portion of the mid-level exception or the veteran’s exception.

Murphy was once an effective and useful player, but spent last year toiling on Avery Johnson’s bench in New Jersey before joining the Celtics for a late season push.

Expect Murphy to pressure opposing defences with his range and contribute on the glass as a reserve.

--Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Saturday , Dec , 17 , 2011 Andrew Flint

Rumor: Did Kobe cheat … again?

Sources connected with the couple tell TMZ ... Vanessa -- who stuck by Kobe after he was charged with sexually assaulting a Colorado woman in 2003 -- decided to end the marriage because she believes Kobe has been unfaithful ... again. As one source puts it, "She's been dealing with these incidents for a long time and has been a faithful wife, but she's finally had enough," adding, "This one is the straw that broke the camel's back." And our sources say ... Kobe "desperately" wants to win Vanessa back and will do "whatever it takes" to save their 10 1/2 year marriage. Link HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: She stood by him during his sexual assault case. And she stood by him through rumors of affairs and infidelity. Not now, though. Vanessa Bryant, the wife of Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant, has filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences. Kids, that’s code for infidelity. And various sources are reporting that Vanessa felt Bryant had again been unfaithful. Apparently, the two sides have worked out all or most details of the divorce, and Vanessa is entitled to half of Bryant’s $350 million because there is no prenuptial agreement. Bryant’s focus has helped him play through past distractions, however, his divorce is one more distraction for a Lakers side in transition. --Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
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Wednesday , Dec , 14 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Lakers again chasing Chris Paul?

The Lakers are making another run at Chris Paul, who remains in limbo as the NBA league office has taken over negotiations on behalf of the Hornets.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Pau Gasol, it’s not over.

For months the Spanish post has been plagued by rumors that the Los Angeles Lakers were looking to trade him.

He had been linked to Kevin Love in Minnesota, Dwight Howard in Orlando, and twice nearly found a home in Houston as part of a three-team blockbuster for Chris Paul of New Orleans.

Of course, Commissioner Stern and the NBA, who own the Hornets, nixed both previous offers from the Lakers, citing the ever-mysterious ‘basketball reasons’.

Now the Lakers are apparently taking a third run at Paul, and Gasol is again the centerpiece of the purple-and-gold’s offer.

So the rumors will continue. And Gasol could still end up out of town.
 
Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
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Tuesday , Dec , 13 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Clippers miss memo: claim Billups off waivers

The Clippers have made a successful big on Chauncey Billups, who was amnestied by the Knicks last week. Under terms of the league’s amnesty police, any team under the salary cap can put bid on Billups. The Clippers put a bid of just over $2 million for Billups, according to Marc Stein.

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Perhaps the Los Angeles Clippers missed the memo.

Veteran point guard Chauncey Billups warned teams not to claim him after he was amnesty waived by the New York Knicks.

Teams under the salary cap had first crack at claiming Billups, who wanted to go unclaimed so he could become a free agent and sign with a contender.

Mr. Big shot had his eyes on competitive squads like the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers.

So Billups joining the Clippers is interesting for a couple of reasons. First, Los Angeles’ other team is big on potential but light on results.

Second, there are rumors the Clippers will send several pieces to the New Orleans Hornets in exchange for Chris Paul. This would relegate to Billups to the bench on a team that would be good but hardly great.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Monday , Dec , 12 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Kobe on Lamar Odom trade: ‘I don’t like it’

One of his closest friends on the Lakers, Lamar Odom, was traded Saturday night to Dallas for a first-round pick in the 2012 amateur draft, depriving the Lakers of their top rebounder and a solid character guy in the locker room. "I don't like it," Bryant said Sunday. "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.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The straw that stirs the purple-and-gold's drink has spoken. And he isn’t happy.

Kobe Bryant, arguably the game’s best player and franchise face for the Los Angeles Lakers, is unhappy that forward Lamar Odom was shipped to the Dallas Mavericks in a salary clearing move.

Bryant was unhappy for a few reasons:

First, Odom was a key guy in the locker room, bringing different people and factions together into a cohesive whole.

Second, Odom, a former Sixth Man of the Year, had his best season as a Laker in 2011, despite being supposedly distracted by his reality TV duties as Mr. Khloe Kardashian.

Third, Odom went to the Dallas Mavericks, the 2011 world champions and arch rival of the Lakers.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Sunday , Dec , 11 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Lakers to chase Dwight Howard, not Chris Paul

The Lakers have pulled out of Chris Paul trade talks and will trade Lamar Odom to the Mavericks for a traded player exception that was acquired for Tyson Chandler.Dallas will send unspecified draft considerations to the Lakers. "The Lakers are shifting toward trying to make a Dwight Howard deal."

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: We have closure on this saga. For now.

The Los Angeles Lakers have officially pulled out of the Chris Paul sweepstakes, and will instead focus on acquiring Dwight Howard from the Orlando Magic.

Perhaps the cost was too high. Perhaps dealing with NBA head office, who own the New Orleans Hornets, was too complicated. Or, perhaps they just prefer Howard.

Bottom line: the purple-and-gold have declared their intention to pursue Howard. And they usually get they want.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Sunday , Dec , 11 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Marcus Banks, Jason Smith, draft picks in new Chris Paul trade

The Hornets, Lakers and Rockets have delivered a restructured Chris Paul to the NBA for their approval, according to sources.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Earlier today HoopsVibe News reported that the Lakers, Hornets, and Rockets had submitted a new trade proposal involving Chris Paul.

(The first trade was nixed by the NBA, who owns the struggling New Orleans franchise, because they felt the Hornets weren’t getting enough young talent, while the Lakers were gaining too much financial flexibility.)

In the second trade, the Hornets will receive a couple of first round picks and the Lakers have to take back Marcus Banks and Jason Smith in separate sign-and-trades.

The ball is now in Commissioner Stern’s court.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

 

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Saturday , Dec , 10 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Lakers, Hornets, Rockets submit new Chris Paul trade to NBA

Just filed to ESPN w/@Chris_Broussard: New trade framework of original three-team CP3 deal has been submitted to league office for approval.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: If at first you don’t succeed, try again.

ESPN is reporting that the Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers, and New Orleans Hornets are submitting a re-worked trade proposal that would involve superstar point guard Chris Paul.

The first trade was nixed by the league for ’basketball reasons’ on Thursday evening, sending shockwaves around the NBA. (Remember, the NBA owns the Hornets because a buyer couldn’t be found).

The league apparently wants the Hornets to receive young talent and draft picks. And then there was the optics of a larger market, like the Lakers, continuing to dominate and accumulate superstars.

Stay posted to HoopsVibe News for further details on this story.