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NBA nixes Paul-to-Lakers multi-team trade

Associated Press / December 9, 2011
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The NBA, owners of the New Orleans Hornets, refused yesterday 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 Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was one of the most vocal owners upset about the deal.

The proposed deal would have sent Lamar Odom from the Lakers to New Orleans and four-time All-Star Pau Gasol from the Lakers to Houston.

After it fell through, Paul simply wrote, “WoW,’’ on his Twitter page.

Odom, too, took to Twitter to share his feelings: “When a team trades u and it doesn’t go down? Now what?’’

CBA approved

Maybe it won’t be noticed right away, but Stern said the “tortured journey’’ of the NBA’s 161-day lockout will prove to be worth it.

Stern announced that owners and players ratified a new collective bargaining agreement yesterday, the final step to ending the five-month lockout and paving the way for training camps and free agency to open today.

“It’s a new beginning in a way,’’ Stern said. “It’s going to take a couple of years to work its way out, but we’re very excited about its prospects.’’

The 10-year deal promises owners savings of perhaps $250 million a year, but largely leaves intact the soft salary cap system that the players fought hard to maintain.

A 66-game schedule will begin on Christmas and run through April 26, forcing every team to play on three straight nights at least once.

Owners approved the deal, which allows either side to opt out after six years, by a 25-5 vote. The players’ association said 86 percent of the more than 200 players who voted electronically approved the deal.

Butler bound for LA

A person familiar with the situation says free agent Caron Butler is leaving the Mavericks to sign with the Clippers. TNT reported it’s a three-year, $24 million deal.

Butler had been working out in Chicago and is recovered from a ruptured tendon in his right knee that limited him to 29 games with the champion Mavericks last season. He averaged 15.0 points and was the team’s second-leading scorer when he was hurt on New Year’s Day.

Heat to sign Battier

Free agent forward Shane Battier says he will sign with the Heat. Battier announced his decision in a series of posts to his Twitter account. The 33-year-old is entering his 10th NBA season, having played for Memphis and Houston . . . Center Greg Oden, Portland’s often-injured former No. 1 draft pick, will sign the Trail Blazers’ $8.9 million offer, Oden’s agent said. But it is not clear when Oden, who is coming off left knee surgery, might be available to play for the Blazers. The deal means that Oden will become an unrestricted free agent after this season . . . Tayshaun Prince and Jonas Jerebko will re-sign with the Pistons, a person familiar with the situation told the AP. Prince, an unrestricted free agent, is expected to sign a four year, $27 million contract. Jerebko, a restricted free agent, will be back for a $16 million, four-year deal . . . Former Celtics guard Nate Robinson won’t attend Oklahoma City’s training camp. General manager Sam Presti said in a statement that it’s “unlikely he will have an opportunity to contribute on a nightly basis’’ for the Thunder, and the team is working to clarify his status for the future . . . The Nets finalized their coaching staff, hiring P.J. Carlesimo and Mario Elie as assistants.

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