LOS ANGELES -- The Clippers have agreed to acquire All-Star point guard Chris Paul from the New Orleans Hornets in a blockbuster deal that includes sending Eric Gordon to the Hornets, two people with knowledge of the situation who were not authorized to speak on the matter told the Los Angeles Times Wednesday.
The Clippers will send the Hornets Chris Kaman and his expiring $12.7-million expiring contract, second-year forward Al-Farouq Aminu and the unprotected No. 1 draft pick the Clippers got from the Minnesota Timberwolves, both sources told the Times.
The Clippers will get Paul and two future second-round draft picks from the Hornets.
The NBA, which operates the Hornets as team owner, was prepared to approve the deal Wednesday night, both sources told the Times.
The Clippers had been granted permission to talk Paul, and he informed them that he would pick up his option of $17.7 million for the 2012-13 season and might be interested in signing a contract extension after the trade, both people said.
Paul is set to earn $16.3 million this season under his current contractt.
The Clippers gave up a good young shooting guard in Gordon, but were able to keep second-year point guard Eric Bledsoe.
The league, which has taken over the talks from New Orleans Hornets General Manager Dell Demps, initiated phone conversations with the Clippers on Tuesday afternoon, said a person who was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter, although no proposals were exchanged.
The NBA, which operates the Hornets, refused to move off its position of wanting Eric Gordon and the Clippers' No. 1 unprotected draft pick they got from the Minnesota Timberwolves, the person said.
The Clippers, once again, told the NBA that they wouldn't trade Gordon.
The Clippers were more than willing to send New Orleans center Chris Kaman, second-year forward Al-Farouq Aminu, second-year point guard Eric Bledsoe and the first-round draft pick to the Hornets.
Talks broke down Monday morning when the Clippers pulled out of the deal because they thought the Hornets had asked for too much.
Paul, who will earn $16.3 million this season, has told the Clippers he will pick up his option for next season at $17.7 million.
The Clippers held their media day Tuesday, and the players on hand were unable to get away from discussing Paul, a four-time All-Star.
"We'd love to have him," Clippers forward Blake Griffin said. "But if it doesn't work out, everybody on this team knows that we're ready to roll with this team."
It also made for some uneasy moments Tuesday for those involved in the trade speculation.
The usually talkative Kaman, whose name always has been in the deal, didn't speak to the media.
Neil Olshey, the Clippers' vice president of basketball operations, didn't speak much about the Paul issue.
"Clearly, a player of Chris Paul's caliber … if you pick up the phone, you're going to have to listen to what somebody has to say," he said. "We're not actively making phone calls trying to acquire any new players at this point."
Chris Paul Traded to Clippers in Tentative Deal: Sources
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