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Report: Chris Paul to pressure Hornets to trade him

Jul 21, 2010, 8:34 PM EDT

cpaul_points.jpgDell Demps, welcome to your nightmare.

The brand new general manager of the Hornets is going to be met by Chris Paul trying to force his way out of New Orleans before the start of this season, according to Ken Berger at CBSsports.com.

He wants out,” said the person, who has been briefed on Paul’s strategy but spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss it publicly. “He wants to play with another superstar. He wants to follow LeBron’s model of teaming up with other great players.”

Chris Paul sat and watched as Miami grew powerful, he has watched as Chicago got better, he watched as Los Angeles and Boston stayed good. All of those teams have stars teamed up together. Meanwhile he watched the Hornets go flat (in part due to his injury) and a terrible ownership situation that plays out like nobody is in charge.

Paul’s agent is Leon Rose, part of the powerful Creative Artists Agency
that represents LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. That also
means the master of back-channel communications William Wesley is likely
involved. Bottom line, these are powerful guys who get big deals done.

Paul has two years left on his deal and the Hornets can afford to play
hardball and wait this out, if they trade him at all. If they did, it
would set the franchise back for years unless they got good young
players in return.

Demps needs to sit down immediately with Paul and his people, something
he has said he plans to do. Then he’s got to do the sales job of his
life. The Hornets are nothing without Paul, he is their best player and
the face of the marketing campaign.

One other possibility: Remember the belief among most other teams that proposed Hornets buyer Gary Chouest asked now-fired general manager Jeff Bower to test the trade waters for Chris Paul? And how current owner George Shinn says he is not trying to trade Paul and fired Bower? And that nobody really knows who to deal with in New Orleans right now? All of this could be a push and play between the two men in negotiations, trying to pressure a sale one way or the other.

Or maybe that screwed up ownership situation was the last straw for Paul. 

If he’s available, just about everybody would make a run at him, but Berger says there is a list already.

Paul’s list of preferred destinations consists of the Knicks, Magic and Lakers, and members of his inner circle already have sent word to the Hornets of his desire to be traded to one of those teams, sources say. If Paul has his way, he’s played his last game in a Hornets jersey.

“He feels like they haven’t put the right pieces together,” said the person familiar with the star point guard’s plans.

 What about the teams on Paul’s list?

The Lakers don’t make a lot of sense, unless Los Angeles is willing to give up a player like Andrew Bynum or Lamar Odom and filler to make the money work. The Lakers are already at the top of the league in payroll and Jerry Buss is not looking to take on more. Plus, the triangle offense the Lakers run does not call for a strong point guard in it. In fact, the opposite is true. Paul to LA only works if Los Angeles is planning to make radical changes after winning back-to-back championships and with their core locked up. They are not, by the way.

Orlando has already made a run at Paul during the “he’s available/no he isn’t” game the Hornets and their ownership played earlier this summer. They offered Jameer Nelson as the heart of a solid package, but they could also throw in bigs like Brandon Bass or Martin Gortat. The Paul/Howard pick and roll would be the best in the league from day one.

CP3 may really want to be in New York — teaming up with Amare Stoudemire and running the Mike D’Antoni offense that Paul is perfectly suited for. Plus, expect the Carmelo Anthony to NYC speculation explode like… well, LeBron rumors. The Knicks have prospects like Raymond Felton they could send to New Orleans, but it would be Dec. 15 before they could make that trade.

Another team to watch is Portland, which was reportedly close to a deal a couple months ago, until the Hornets ownership sobered up. But they would gladly jump back in the mix, they’d just have to convince Paul to go there.

  1. TL - Jul 21, 2010 at 9:16 PM

    Wow… CP as a Laker… unstoppable!
    Paul for LO is a no brainer.
    Paul for Drew is fair too. Drew is talented, but can you count on him being healthy?
    Trade Drew and plug Shaq in for 1-2 years until you find a permanent replacement. Don’t laugh… Shaq may not be “Shaq” anymore, but he still put up 18/10 last year.

  2. DG - Jul 21, 2010 at 9:24 PM

    The Mavericks are another team that would do everything they can to get him. They have expiring contracts…Bulter, Chandler…. they can take on salary from NO…Okafur, and give them young talent, Roddy B

  3. PETE - Jul 21, 2010 at 9:37 PM

    how about cleveland ????

  4. jbwbubba - Jul 21, 2010 at 9:48 PM

    Look for a deal with the bobcats

  5. Sean - Jul 21, 2010 at 9:48 PM

    Hey, CP3, come play in Houston with Yao Ming, Luis Scola, Aaron Brooks, Kyle Lowry, etc., etc. We’re currently one of the deepest teams in the league heading into the season and would love to have you. Plus, Houston living, dining, and nightlife are praised by all the althletes that visit.

  6. Jeff - Jul 21, 2010 at 9:56 PM

    I am really fed-up with these superstars not owning up to their contracts. They then have the balls to ask to be traded to a team that is within eyesight of a championship. Owners want cities to pay for sports facilities at tax payers expense. When does it stop

  7. T-Will - Jul 21, 2010 at 9:57 PM

    I’m VERY impressed with the new young NBA ” BUSINESS MAN ” ! These guys are intelligent enough to understand the power they have. They are controlling their business as all good businessmen do….it’s just their corporation’s are their body’s. I’m all for what they are doing! Go get your money and ring’s ( plural ) !

  8. DG - Jul 21, 2010 at 10:04 PM

    Paul wouldnt wanna go to Cleveland, and all cleveland could offer NO is salary relief with the trade exception

  9. john j pileggi - Jul 21, 2010 at 10:05 PM

    It would be a Knick dream come true to get young Mr. Paul.

  10. Da Real - Jul 21, 2010 at 10:11 PM

    I wouldn’t mind the Lakers trading Odom for Paul, but Bryant loves D. Fish and they just signed Blake. This doesn’t seem feasible to me at all because of this.

  11. Drunk Eli - Jul 21, 2010 at 10:15 PM

    If CP3 went to the Lakers, which team would dominate? Lakers or Heat?

  12. Dylan - Jul 21, 2010 at 10:18 PM

    i think that was a per 48-min stat. It was more like 12/7. I still think he can be a very effective center, but he’s far from “Shaq”…So many wish he would just hide under a rock until a playoff series vs orlando or LA lol

  13. donw - Jul 21, 2010 at 10:20 PM

    If you can’t win the ring with the ownership that made your career, just dump them, tell them to kiss your a– and go chasing the ring someplace else.
    Sooner or later you will luck out and get the ring, whether it be as a starter or as a backup.
    Getting that ring, regardless of methods is what counts. To hell with loyalty, adoration from your fans (they can always be replaced) and having to work for it.
    Buy it, purchase it – just get it!

  14. Two DAt - Jul 21, 2010 at 10:23 PM

    Really, you fools are dreaming, like we would give up the best PG in the NBA for Lamar Odom or the other scrubs you fools are listing. It will take some young talent and probably cap relief to get him. We can just let him rot for two years instead of taking other teams garbage. We have a damn good backup pg.

  15. Drunk Eli - Jul 21, 2010 at 10:36 PM

    We may fools for thinking you’d trade CP3 for Odom, but we’re champions! You’re team couldn’t beat the new Cavaliers!
    Besides, CP3 will have the last word. Not a losing franchise.

  16. X - Jul 21, 2010 at 10:41 PM

    Lmao, Chris Paul for Lamar Odom? I want what you’re smoking. It would take at least Bynum and a pick.
    Paul needs to stfu and finish his contract. Hornets literally just got a new GM and a coach that CP wanted so he can shove it.

  17. Bill-Sonora - Jul 21, 2010 at 10:46 PM

    CP will not go to the Lakers. We dont need him. I like DG’s idea of CP going to the Mavs. That would be good, or him going to the Knicks or Orlando. But thats it.
    Hornets better get their sh.. together and make their team better around CP or else theyll be another Cleveland. Maybe worse.

  18. BMAN - Jul 21, 2010 at 10:48 PM

    Shaq averaged 18 and 10? Last year? Shaq?
    Nope.

  19. kbeth - Jul 21, 2010 at 10:50 PM

    thats funny of media..now they know that cp has no superstar status players around him, the “cryptonite” of the issue, and the they are attacking it. I recall his 1st choice was 2 stay a hornet only if the the team would be in competition to the lakers or boston in june, go figure, “nba finals”. even bf all the rumors, media was luring him away from the organization, kinda like a marriage bf a breakup. moral is dont listen 2 outsiders.

  20. Anonymous - Jul 21, 2010 at 11:13 PM

    looks like lebron really screwed cleveland big time .cleveland cant even sign a junior varsity player ..talk about the curse..

  21. laura - Jul 21, 2010 at 11:22 PM

    Not that it hasn’t been expected, but it’s a sad, sad day for those of us who love our New Orleans Hornets. The Saint’s winning Super Bowl relinquished any guilt about leaving our city. We love our CP3, but I can’t say I don’t understand. He did so much for us, I’ll be a fan where ever he goes!

  22. nola - Jul 21, 2010 at 11:29 PM

    chris paul,like lebron,may shuffle around the league all he wants;if bynum stays healthy LAKERS 3peat,period.and do not fool yourself,wade and lebron will never gel together,both want to be the MAN.not possible,all the hype is just that,hype.south beach is in for a letdown.all those millions the queen passed up will be all for naught.LAKERS all the way,once again.

  23. 1bmffwb - Jul 21, 2010 at 11:45 PM

    The players are only interested in themselves. The league has to look after basketball as a whole. The LeBron situation started a slippery slope that could kill basketball. Carmelo may be next to push a trade. The big market teams will get the high profile players. This is BS. We all pay their salaries. Stop guaranteed contracts. Then you could replace these malcontents and it would cost you nothing to make them sit. When they play the “I am not going to play ball” game, you could sit them without paying them. Screw the union, they ruin everything in American society, and England’s, and France, and Germany etc.. If the commissioner and the league does not get their act together, the fans will revolt. These guys make tens of millions of dollars to play a non contact sport. Their act will get old quick. Queen James is being turned on now. See what happens when the lesser players act like the Queen.

  24. 1bmffwb - Jul 21, 2010 at 11:47 PM

    The players are only interested in themselves. The league has to look after basketball as a whole. The LeBron situation started a slippery slope that could kill basketball. Carmelo may be next to push a trade. The big market teams will get the high profile players. This is BS. We all pay their salaries. Stop guaranteed contracts. Then you could replace these malcontents and it would cost you nothing to make them sit. When they play the “I am not going to play ball” game, you could sit them without paying them. Screw the union, they ruin everything in American society, and England’s, and France, and Germany etc.. If the commissioner and the league does not get their act together, the fans will revolt. These guys make tens of millions of dollars to play a non contact sport. Their act will get old quick. Queen James is being turned on now. See what happens when the lesser players act like the Queen.

  25. Saints Fan First - Jul 21, 2010 at 11:50 PM

    If CP3 went to Cleveland and lead them to an EAST TITLE or even, BETTER YET, an NBA CHAMPIONSHIP, Lebron would cower with his tail between his legs for the rest of his “very short” NBA career.
    AWSOME THOUGHT DAN GILBERT!!!!!!!!!!!!

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