The NBA on Friday afternoon gave the Hornets clearance to re-open conversations with all teams about possible deals, one day after Stern nixed a deal Thursday that would have landed Paul with the Lakers, Pau Gasol with the Rockets and given the Hornets three new starters: Kevin Martin, Lamar Odom and Luis Scola.
Sources close to the talks told ESPN earlier Friday that the Hornets, Lakers and Rockets were hopeful of reconfiguring the trade to the point that Stern, after absorbing heavy and widespread criticism for intervening, signs off this time.
In the afternoon, Yahoo! Sports reported that New Orleans had re-engaged the Lakers and Rockets to try to make the needed changes to a trade that would have also delivered guard Goran Dragic and a 2012 first-round pick to New Orleans.
"Yes, we've been given autonomy to make another trade," Hornets general manager Dell Demps told reporters at a news conference Friday night.
"We're back to work and everything is on the table."
The National Basketball Players Association, meanwhile, has decided not to take immediate action on behalf of Paul, according to sources close to the situation.