Dec 13, 2011, 9:50 AM EDT
“Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of Chris Paul’s career with the Hornets….”
The Chris Paul soap opera continues. The Clippers have basically moved on from the Paul talks again, according to David Aldridge at NBA.com (and Adrian Wojnaarowski at Yahoo).
This is the same thing that happened on Monday — the Clippers walked away because the price was too steep. After the Clippers walked away Monday the league — which owns the Hornets and has been driving the talks over the head Hornets GM Del Demps — tried hard to re-engage the Clippers on the deal. But things are not really different, Aldridge reports.
But a source directly involved in the negotiations said early Tuesday morning that it was doubtful the Hornets would compromise enough for Los Angeles to be interested.
“I don’t know that they can come back far enough,” the source said.
Trade talks go cold then get warmed up again more than leftover pizza at a fraternity house. So never say never, but the talks are dead for now.
The trade was supposed to include either Eric Gordon (who the Clippers do not want to give up but might) or Minnesota’s first-round pick this draft (the Clippers have the rights, unprotected), plus Chris Kaman, Al-Faroqu Aminu and Eric Bledsoe. The league wanted both Gordon and the pick, the Clippers would not give up both. And here we are.
The Clippers have Mo Williams and Bledsoe on the roster at the point, plus picked up Chauncey Billups on waivers after the Knicks used their amnesty on him. Billups now has to either report to the Clippers or retire (as he threatened if he was picked by a team he didn’t want), and there as of yet has been no decision by him.
The league faces consequences for this falling apart. One is that other teams are hesitant to deal with the Hornets — which may be fine with them in the Paul case, the league clearly wants to keep him on the roster even though he can walk away as a free agent in July and the Hornets get nothing.
Secondly, there is the threat of a lawsuit from the players union on Paul’s behalf. If Paul leaves as a free agent he will make about $26 million less guaranteed then if he were traded and re-signed. Combine that with David Stern killing the Paul trade to the Lakers — apparently under pressure from owners — could lead to collusion charges and legal action.
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