Businesses make or lose money based on percentage points here on there. A dispirited superstar won't shut the place down or anything, but it saps everybody's ability to believe in the big picture plan, which is more than enough to drag a team from a good business position to a bad one.
And that's why the Hornets are in a very different position than the Lakers were. The Lakers are The Lakers!
One of the more revered team brands in sports. They make money come rain or shine, and it almost never rains in L.A. anyway. They can play chicken with a player like Kobe Bryant and make a credible case that he is not their only route to success.
In New Orleans, the power imbalance tips in favor of the player. The Hornets have a rookie coach, a rookie GM, a small market and an owner with one foot out the door. Paul is far and away the best thing the Hornets have going for them, which gives him leverage other players in his position wouldn't have.
That's why league sources with knowledge of the situation say they think the most likely situation is that at some point Paul will be traded. And in that case, the team would be expected to ask for the pieces to fuel a money-saving rebuild: Expiring contracts, draft picks, and affordable young players. That way, the team could sell fans on the future, cut expenses all while keeping hope alive for the long-term.