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Hornets' sale still in dispute

Jul 17, 2010, 9:51 PM EDT

The New Orleans Hornets need a GM in place, immediately. Chris Paul is getting antsy, the roster could use some serious upgrades if they want to contend, and new head coach Monty Williams needs to have someone to work with on acquisitions. And the process is certainly getting there, with Dell Demps emerging as the favorite to get the job, according to ESPN.

Just one snag. Their ownership situation is still also very much in the air.

The Times Picayune reports that current owner George Shinn and new prospective owner Gary Chouest are still close to $30 million apart on a final price. That’s quite a bit of money. The report also says that the two are not on speaking terms, which Hornets president Hugh Weber denies.

The gap in an agreed price for the team is going to do nothing to quash rumors that Shinn has expressed interest in trading Chris Paul in order to lower the value of the franchise to cover the differential. But those rumors are met with conflicting reports that Shinn released former GM Jeff Bower precisely because of his consideration of trading Chris Paul.

The summer is getting late, and the Hornets need to have some level of cohesion. But if the two owners can’t come to an agreement, this thing could drag on well into the offseason, leaving whoever the new GM is trying to serve two bosses. Pretty awkward all around.

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