The Los Angeles Clippers and New Orleans Hornets have submitted a multiplayer deal that would send Chris Paul to the Clippers, according to a report.
ESPN reported Monday that the two teams have submitted the deal for the NBA's approval after working vigorously through Sunday night to iron out a deal.
The deal would send Chris Paul to the Clippers in exchange for Eric Gordon, Chris Kaman, Al-Farouq Aminu, and Minnesota's unprotected first-round pick.
But just as the NBA League office proved to be a roadblock in a previously submitted three team deal involving the Hornets, Lakers, and Rockets, the NBA has created an issue with this latest deal.
The NBA wants the Clippers to include guard Eric Bledsoe in the deal, but the Clippers have hesitated to include the young, former Kentucky guard in the trade. The NBA is expected to review the deal on Monday, but it's unclear whether commissioner David Stern will approve this latest deal.
Stern previously nixed a deal that would have sent Paul to the Lakers; Pau Gasol to the Rockets; and Luis Scola, Lamar Odom, Kevin Martin, and Goran Dragic to the Hornets. Stern claimed it was to maintain the NBA-owned Hornets' franchise value, but later reports indicated that the league would like to see the Hornets acquire a younger batch of players.
The emphasis on younger players shows why the Hornets are pushing for Bledsoe. The biggest piece of the puzzle is Gordon, though some media outlets, including SI.com, have reported that he won't be included in the deal.
ESPN insists that Gordon will be the centerpiece of the deal, but that the Clippers are trying to keep his name out of the media in case the deal falls through. The Clippers likely saw the negative impacts of the previously nixed three-team deal -- notably Lamar Odom's emotional reaction -- and don't want Gordon to mentally check out after seeing his name included in trade rumors.
The Clippers are willing to gut a lot of their depth because Paul is expected to opt-in on his 2012-13 extension. Paul would still be eligible as a free agent in2013, but Clippers management believes that Paul will want to sign long-term with the team after playing two seasons alongside star Blake Griffin.
Sources close to Paul previously stated a desire to join Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony in New York, but that opportunity was squashed when the Knicks completed a sign-and-trade deal for Tyson Chandler. The Hornets are reportedly not interested in trading for Stoudemire, who has dealt with knee injuries, and the Knicks will not have any cap space to sign Paul in either 2012 or 2013.