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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. Ed - Jul 22, 2010 at 11:47 AM

    With this economy and world problems we should be concerned for this point guard?
    National Betting Association—-NBA just ask the ref’s and the ones that have served time!
    Tattoos and all about me is the new NBA!
    Lockout forever!

  2. fred - Jul 22, 2010 at 11:56 AM

    Kobe Bryant signed a 7 year, $136.4 million contract in July of 2004. In 2007 he was demanding to be traded. He stayed and they got Gasol, etc. Were people castigating him like they are with James and Paul?

  3. Ed - Jul 22, 2010 at 11:58 AM

    He must have BO because nobody met with him to be part of a group!
    Or they do not think he is as good as he thinks he is?

  4. Anonymous - Jul 22, 2010 at 12:09 PM

    All Queen James had to do was call the owner before he made it public. Even Stern made the same remark!
    Players are now bigger than the game. Wade has become Socrates and cannot keep his family together because he spends all his time with Queen james and bosch!

  5. rperez2579 - Jul 22, 2010 at 1:05 PM

    Nah… He’s going to Miami!

  6. Jeff - Jul 22, 2010 at 1:39 PM

    The Spurs could trade Tony Parker for CP3.

  7. Larry - Jul 22, 2010 at 2:06 PM

    You are so right. I live in PHX and it was so sickning to see what happened there with the hijcking of the Sonics. I don’t want to keep hearing it was because the city needed a new stadium. The recession had started and how many cities would have raised taxes to fund a new stadium? David Stern is a 68 year old thug running a bogus league. All these fans want all the stars together. These players are trying to pull this off before the new CBA comes into play and changes are made in things such as free agency and trades.
    See how many tickets the other 25 teams will be able to sell and stay in business. The league has been a Sham since David Stern became the league council in 1978.
    Go get a copy of the late referee Earl Sttrom’s book, “Five Decades in the NBA,” and see how the league is run.

  8. Rick92886 - Jul 22, 2010 at 2:22 PM

    I guess LeBron showed a tremendous amount of respect for Gilbert on how he made his “DECISION”. Gilbert was his boss no matter how much LeBron was making.

  9. PK - Jul 22, 2010 at 2:35 PM

    The Mavs got Kidd who I believe they gave a 3 yr deal at start of last year, so…. , not sure Mavs is the right team!!

  10. Brian - Jul 22, 2010 at 7:37 PM

    Paul is not holding the cards, the Hornets hold the cards as Paul is under contract for two more years. Her is the deal, Paul is a superstar and you dont trade away a super star and face of your franchise unless you get a super star in return. Without a star like Paul it will be impossible to lure other free agents next year when the contracts that have held you in check go off the books. With Paul on the roster you could attract Carmello Anthony or other big name players to assist you in winning a Championship. Without Paul, no Chance!
    If I am the Hornets I play hard ball with Paul. Its time someone stands up to these spoiled greedy players and puts them in their place.

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