Dec 1, 2011, 2:41 PM EDT
This might be David Stern’s worst nightmare. The only thing that would make it worse is if union lawyer Jeffrey Kessler were Chris Paul‘s agent.
Paul has informed the Hornets front office that he will not sign an extension with the team and that he wants to be traded to the Knicks, reports Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo.
Chris Paul’s agent informed New Orleans officials on Wednesday that his client will not sign a contract extension and wants to be traded to the New York Knicks, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.
As soon as the NBA lifts its lockout restrictions, Hornets general manager Dell Demps wants to meet with Paul and hear that directive from him.
Paul does like New Orleans the city, but this is a team without an owner in a small market that is a long way from being able to compete for anything. Thank you again, George Shinn.
David Stern is stuck because the league currently owns the Hornets after Shinn was unable to sell the team to a local businessman and was hinting at bankruptcy.
After five months (really two years) of Stern preaching about the need for competitive balance in the NBA, making that a cornerstone of the five-month lockout, he cannot have the league trade CP3 to the big market Knicks. The 28 other owners would lynch him.
What’s more, the Knicks don’t have any tradable assets that interest the Hornets anyway, they shipped them all to Denver to get Carmelo Anthony last year. The Hornets want picks and young players with potential. Demps has been talking to other teams, but the only way Paul is going to the Knicks in a trade is if one or more other teams get involved as facilitators. Those kind of deals are hard to put together.
If Paul is going to end up in Madison Square Garden, it likely will be as a free agent next summer. Then the Knicks could offer a four year contract that starts at $13 million to Paul, although that is less than the $17.4 million where an extension with the Hornets would start.
Or, he might broaden his trade horizons as other teams try to sell him. Which might happen, as this note from Wojnarowski hints.
Paul has reached out to Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard recently, encouraging Howard to find a way for the two to play together, sources told Yahoo! Sports. That would be a difficult scenario for the Knicks to make happen. Paul’s desire to join the Knicks was cemented after he spent so much time in New York over the summer with close friend, Carmelo Anthony.
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