The Hornets have agreed in principle to deal Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Clippers for guard Eric Gordon, forward Al-Farouq Aminu, center Chris Kaman and a first-round draft choice, people familiar with the deal said.
Commissioner David Stern approved the trade on behalf of the league-owned team, people told the Associated Press on Wednesday on condition of anonymity because the NBA had not ratified the deal.
The 26-year-old Paul is a four-time all-star who averaged 18.7 points and 9.8 assists last season, his sixth in the NBA. His move to the Clippers means he'll now be able to make alley-oop lobs to Blake Griffin, who averaged 22.5 points and 12.1 rebounds last season, his first in the NBA.
The Hornets get a prolific young shooting guard in Gordon, who turns 23 on Christmas Day and averaged 22.3 points last season. The 6-foot-9 Aminu is a second-year pro who averaged 5.6 points and 3.3 rebounds as a rookie.
The 7-foot Kaman, 29, is an eight-year veteran who averaged 12.4 points and seven rebounds last season, but played in only 32 games because of a left ankle injury.
ESPN, citing anonymous sources, first reported the trade, which also involves New Orleans sending two future second-round draft picks to the Clippers.
The Hornets could look forward to an additional first-round draft choice next summer. The pick originally belonged to Minnesota, meaning it will be tied to where the Timberwolves finish in the standings this season.
Rip to join Rose
Richard Hamilton is on the verge of joining the Chicago Bulls.
A person familiar with the situation said the veteran guard was closing in on a three-year, $15 million deal with the Bulls. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the contract had not been finalized.
The three-time all-star cleared waivers after being bought out by Detroit this week, ending a nine-year run in which the Pistons won a championship and regularly made the Eastern Conference finals.
Assuming his deal with the Bulls goes through, the 6-foot-7 Hamilton would join MVP Derrick Rose and give Chicago another scoring option along with the height it was seeking in the backcourt.
Lakers sign McRoberts
The Los Angeles Lakers have signed free-agent forward Josh McRoberts to a two-year contract.
The Lakers announced the deal with McRoberts, a four-year NBA veteran who spent the past three seasons with the Indiana Pacers.
The Duke product averaged career highs of 7.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists while starting 51 games for Indiana last season.
The 6-10 McRoberts could get playing time early with the Lakers, who traded Lamar Odom to Dallas last weekend.
Andrew Bynum will miss the first five games of the regular season under suspension, and backup forward Derrick Caracter had surgery Wednesday on torn cartilage in his left knee.
Marc Gasol gets new deal
The Memphis Grizzlies have signed center Marc Gasol to a new contract, keeping intact the core of a team that made the Western Conference semifinals last spring.
Gasol, 26, was a restricted free agent, which would have allowed the Grizzlies to match any offer sheet extended by another team. The 7-1 Gasol announced through Twitter that he had agreed to terms with the team.
Terms of the contract were not announced during a press conference, but The Commercial Appeal reports the deal is for four years and almost $58 million.
Gasol enters his fourth year averaging 11.7 points, 7.0 rebounds and a career-high 2.5 assists and 1.68 blocks in the regular season last year. But he averaged 15.0 points and 11.2 rebounds in the postseason.