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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

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. que1911 - Jul 22, 2010 at 8:40 AM

    all you are complete dummies,,, LB was a FREE AGENT, he honered his contract he didnt leave CLeveland… HE STAYED and tried to make it work… Get a grip yall. if you did Soap operas all of your life and got a call from STEVEN SPielberg to do a major motion picture with all the greats would you say no let me stick it out. HELL NO you would run like a bitch… same thing with your job now,, let someone offer you something better…ALL YOU ALL are full of it.

  2. fiveiron - Jul 22, 2010 at 8:47 AM

    Send him to Afghanistan…Hell, send the whole league there. They don’t know how good they’ve got it. Bunch of spoiled punks.

  3. Nick - Jul 22, 2010 at 8:48 AM

    Next summer, there will be a lockout. The owners will probably address all the BS that came about via LeBron James. My guess is that there will be either more restrictions for free agents or teams losing a top-tier free agent will receive additional compensation. Perhaps the team signing the free agent will have to give up their next first round pick.
    But all this BS WILL be addressed. And if the players do not like it–tough. If they want to keep on making millions, they will agree to these conditions. If not…well, my guess is that ten million dollars+ per year is pretty hard to walk away from.
    And players will not be able to force trades.
    After all, lifestyle must be maintained, food needs to be on the family table. Ha, ha!

  4. Dave - Jul 22, 2010 at 8:51 AM

    Is this even true? All I see is someone anonymous saying he wants to leave and then about a page and a half of conjecture.

  5. CF98 - Jul 22, 2010 at 9:00 AM

    Its his career he has the right to do what he wants but since he’s under contract he shouldn’t expect the Hornets to cowtow to him either.
    In the end everyone is out for themselves owners and players

  6. MC - Jul 22, 2010 at 9:18 AM

    The Magic need to make this happen if they want to keep up with the Miami jerks.

  7. JustGetItStraight - Jul 22, 2010 at 9:22 AM

    Just an FYI: Wade, LeBron, and Bosh did not start anything. Players have been demanding trades long before this trio decided to join the Heat. And LeBron and Bosh did not demand to be traded, even if they ended up being involved in sign-and-trade deals. They played out their contracts and were free agents, meaning, obviously, that they could sign with whatever team they wanted because they were no longer under contract. Criticize these guys all you want for killing competition, for trying to win a championship the easy way, for not wanting to have the responsibilty for “being the man.” But it’s unfair to have them take the blame for several decades of selfishness in professional sports.

  8. fred - Jul 22, 2010 at 9:50 AM

    I am now a Miami fan, but LA still has a better team – young big guys.

  9. Cire - Jul 22, 2010 at 9:51 AM

    Yeah. Cleveland. Like that one – and I’m holding my breath.

  10. dave - Jul 22, 2010 at 10:04 AM

    I’d say trade Tony Parker straightup of CP3!

  11. Cire - Jul 22, 2010 at 10:04 AM

    Except for one thing – he’d have to play for $1 mil a year. No cap room left in Heat land. NY or Orlando are his ticket.

  12. ron - Jul 22, 2010 at 10:28 AM

    yep shaq went for 18 minutes, ten fouls. get your facts right

  13. William the Conqueror - Jul 22, 2010 at 10:28 AM

    Would you want to play for that idiot Gilbert?
    The second your contract was up and you decided to leave, you’re called a loser, a traitor, a has been or whatever other name the guy can come up with.
    Cleveland is done, but not because Lebron left town, but because of the mouth of Gilbert. No professional, college or high school athlete wants to be abused verbally. No athlete just goes through the motion of winning, every athlete gives his best which may or may not be acceptable to his coach. But, as a former D-1 player, who played for a dictator in college. You lose respect for a coach that thinks he’s always right and doesn’t give a damn about you or your teammates except how many wins you can give him.
    Gilbert has killed Cleveland’s chances of ever winning a title by running his mouth and showing no respect for his players.

  14. Monk - Jul 22, 2010 at 10:34 AM

    I live in N.O. and am a Hornets fan…anw WAS a Chris Paul fan! I say “good riddance”! He couldn’t win a game 7 on his home court to get to the conference finals just 2 years ago and now wants out? Quit kissing Lebron’s ass and be your own man Chris! I say trade him anywhere but the places he wants to go and let him suffer for 2 years until he’s a free agent! How does Cleveland, Minnesota, Sacramento or Toronto sound Chris?

  15. Lion Woods - Jul 22, 2010 at 10:34 AM

    Chris Paul wants to be paired up with one or two other superstars in order to better his chances at a championship… he indicates he wants to go that route ala LeBron & Co… but one thing Paul is doing that Lebron did not… Paul is asking to be traded to this potential championship ballclub wherein Lebron played out his contract and then utilized the free agency system to pick the road he wanted to go down… I have very little respect for Paul’s request and I hope they ignore his demands down in the big ez. P.S. although Paul at the point of Boston, Miami, San Antonio or Dallas, even LA would be a pretty good fit.

  16. Reality check - Jul 22, 2010 at 10:36 AM

    Are you serrious? Chris Paul isn’t getting anywhere close to LA, and certainly not for either of the guys you mentioned. not even really a good fit unless Jackson retired, and entire offense was restructured. As far as Shaq, come on. Even if healthy, puts the offense at a stand still, and couldn’t run the floor with that type of team ( Paul and Kobe)… If basketball was a video game it would work, but its not. the Lakers stand pat………… If it aint broke don’t fix it

  17. Jeff - Jul 22, 2010 at 10:40 AM

    These guys are over paid to begin with and are ruining the NBA by not only deciding where they want to play, but also who they want to play with. I say let them strike, restructure the entire pay scale and limit free agency. These guys are killing parity and those teams b and c city teams.

  18. Stern better recognize - Jul 22, 2010 at 10:43 AM

    Let’s just have 4 Basketball teams then. Get rid of all the small market teams and let the NBA players canabolize each other to make it on those 4 teams. Let’s see how that works for the NBA.
    Stern better figure out that these mega teams are not good for the NBA.

  19. Paul - Jul 22, 2010 at 10:44 AM

    I think CP3 needs to do the right thing and honor his contract. But, we all know he won’t. He will bring discontent to the locker room and make the Hornets and NO hate him. So, trade him no and get something for him in return to build on. Personally, I say send him to Portland. Blazers would then give the Lakers a challenge every game. That is what CP3 wants anyways is to beat the Lakers.

  20. RJV - Jul 22, 2010 at 10:50 AM

    SO WHEN DO NEW ORLEANS FANS START BURNING HIS JERSEY!!!! CP wants to “qoute” “Do like Lebron did and join forces to play with a superstar” “end quote”……………So is there going to be trash talk about CP3?????????????? There better not be…because players want to WIN – that is what they do……..but if the owner can not accomodate …….then a player (business man) needs to do what he has to do to WIN!!!! You GO CP3!!!!!!!!! More power to you!

  21. Nick - Jul 22, 2010 at 10:53 AM

    Yo, Billy-boy,
    If you are right and the Cavs lose many games, they might get the first pick in the draft and get another superstar who will HAVE TO play there.
    I am betting the NBA will change the rues and eliminate this LBJ BS

  22. Ed - Jul 22, 2010 at 10:58 AM

    ///////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!
    What if team trades him??????? then what do you say……

  23. Ed - Jul 22, 2010 at 11:00 AM

    ///////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!
    What if team trades him??????? then what do you say……

  24. Anonymous - Jul 22, 2010 at 11:00 AM

    Yo RVJ,
    He can—in two years
    Otherwise he should STFU!!

  25. kitsap sports - Jul 22, 2010 at 11:36 AM

    Hey Dman,
    As far as I’m concerned, this is what David Stren has wanted all along.
    It started long ago, then when he helped move my Sonics, for a buddy of his, Clay Bennett, who’s a liar and a crook.
    The Sonics were a huge part of my city and my life, I’ve really lost interest.
    If Oklahoma City wanted a team, then expand, not steal someone elses team.
    Yes, Howard Schultz, Mr Starbucks sold the team to Bennett from under our nose, but the way things went down, were very slimmy.
    It’s hard to believe, such a huge sports fan like me, has virtually no interest in the NBA anymore.
    I can honestly say that I did not watch a full game all year.
    David Stern is a idiot, and thinks he’s doing all of us fans a favor.
    Well in my eyes, he’s ruined the product.
    This last Free agent cicus has done it, I’d rather watch NHL, and ow that I can see Carrie Underwood in the stands, I’m sold.

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