NEW ORLEANS — The NBA, owners of the New Orleans Hornets, refused Thursday to approve a three-team trade that would have sent Hornets All-Star guard Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers.
"It's not true that the owners killed the deal, the deal was never discussed at the Board of Governors meeting and the league office declined to make the trade for basketball reasons," league spokesman Mike Bass said.
Yahoo Sports reported that NBA Commissioner David Stern killed the trade after several owners complained. Citing anonymous sources, Yahoo reported Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was one of the most vocal owners upset about the deal, done the same day as the end of the lockout, which was supposed to restore competitive balance in the league.
The proposed deal would have sent Lamar Odom from the Lakers to New Orleans and Pau Gasol from the Lakers to Houston. The Rockets also had agreed to send forward Louis Scola, shooting guard Kevin Martin, point guard Goran Dragic and a first-round draft choice to New Orleans.
If the Hornets are unable to figure out a trade for Paul, he would be able to opt out of his current contract after the upcoming season.
Speaking earlier Thursday, Hornets president Hugh Weber said the franchise has been preparing for months for the possibility that Paul would resist signing an extension in New Orleans, a move that would leave the Hornets with the choice of trading him or simply letting him walk in free agency at the end of the season.