Chris Paul

*For LA Lakers fans and fans of exciting basketball, we’ve go some really bad news.

The Lakers’ deal for Chris Paul has been killed by the NBA, which owns the New Orleans Hornets franchise, the Los Angeles Times is reporting.

“It is not true that owners killed the deal,” said NBA spokesman Tim Frank. “It wasn’t even discussed at the Board [of Governors] meeting. The league office declined to make the trade for basketball reasons.”

The league bought the New Orleans franchise last December and has typically left personnel decisions to the Hornets’ front office.

Nobody seemed more surprised by the death of the deal than Paul.

“WoW,” he wrote on Twitter at 6:11 p.m.

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.

Owners and players ratified a new collective bargaining agreement Thursday, the final step to ending the five-month lockout and paving the way for training camps and free agency to open Friday.

There was hope in small markets like New Orleans that after the lockout it would be easier for teams to hold on to their biggest stars. Had the deal had been approved, one of the NBA’s biggest stars from the league-owned small-market Hornets would have moved to one of the NBA’s largest, richest markets.

Lakers officials were still hunkered down in a room at the team’s El Segundo headquarters Thursday night, trying to ascertain what would happen next.

Here’s what we reported earlier …

Lakers Make Big Move: Chris Paul Acquired for Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol

*The Los Angeles Lakers have made their move to reshape and strengthen team by agreeing to acquire Chris Paul the All-Star guard from New Orleans for Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom in a three-team deal Thursday also involving Houston.

It’s a move that observers symbolizes a shift from finesse, precision and depth in the Lakers’ frontcourt to speed and athleticism in their backcourt.

The Lakers are also expected to acquire at least one other player in the deal to play power forward. It was unclear which player, but it’s possible the Lakers would also receive veteran New Orleans center-forward Emeka Okafor.

Read/learn MORE at LA Times.