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NBA AM: Hornets Ready to Deal Chris Paul
Posted By Alex Kennedy On December 7, 2011 @ 7:49 am In All,Main Page,NBA | No Comments
The New Orleans Hornets are ready to trade Chris Paul. After weeks of speculation and rumors, the Hornets began actively shopping Paul on Tuesday and league sources say they intend to move the star point guard “as soon as possible,” preferably before their season opener on December 26.
Hornets’ general manager Dell Demps offered Paul a contract extension on Monday, but the 26-year-old refused to sign it. Now, Demps feels he has no choice but to trade his franchise player. New Orleans engaged in serious trade talks on Tuesday and teams in the hunt for Paul hope to work out a deal in the next 48 hours so that this is resolved prior to the start of training camp.
Nearly every team in the league has called and expressed interest in Paul, but sources say that the Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors have made the best offers. They’re considered the early frontrunners, with the Boston Celtics, Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers also in the mix.
Whether or not Paul would sign an extension with the Clippers or Warriors remains to be seen, but both teams feel confident that they could convince him to stay after acquiring him. This is the same approach that the New Jersey Nets took with Deron Williams prior to last year’s trade deadline.
The Warriors are offering Stephen Curry, Ekpe Udoh and Klay Thompson, according to one league source. Golden State is also trying to sign Tyson Chandler, who is one of Paul’s best friends in the league.
The Clippers won’t trade Blake Griffin or Eric Gordon, but have made everyone else on their roster available. They desperately want Paul and believe he’s the perfect player to put alongside Griffin.
Paul would still love to join the New York Knicks, but that possibility seems less and less likely as more teams willing to take the rental route step forward. New Orleans is looking for young talent and New York doesn’t have the trade chips to compete with the offers from Los Angeles or Golden State.
On Tuesday, Paul told several people close to him that he expects to be traded sooner rather than later. If the Hornets find the right deal, he could be moved as early as Friday.
Lakers Contact Magic, Hornets: The Los Angeles Lakers contacted the Orlando Magic and New Orleans Hornets on Tuesday, according to multiple sources. The Lakers’ dream scenario would be to land both Dwight Howard and Chris Paul, and they’ve made their interest known in recent days.
The talks were brief and no proposals were made. However, the Lakers will continue to explore their options and remain involved in the superstar sweepstakes.
Los Angeles knows that acquiring both superstars is unlikely, but they figure it’s worth a shot. Trading for one or the other – Howard or Paul – using some combination of Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom is much more realistic. The Lakers are closely monitoring both situations.
Howard and Paul would each be willing to sign a contract extension with the Lakers, according to sources. If other teams like the Los Angeles Clippers or Golden State Warriors refuse to make a deal without an extension, the Lakers could become the frontrunner to acquire one of the stars.
Free Agency News and Notes: With free agency just two days away, here are the latest news and notes from around the league.
• Jamal Crawford has a long list of teams hoping to sign him, but his preference would be a sign-and-trade to the Chicago Bulls, according to sources close to the situation. The Bulls have been in contact with Crawford’s camp in recent days and will try to acquire him by offering the Atlanta Hawks a package that includes Ronnie Brewer and one unnamed player. If Chicago can’t land Crawford, the veteran will likely sign with the New Orleans Hornets, Indiana Pacers, New Jersey Nets or Minnesota Timberwolves.
• The New Jersey Nets and Golden State Warriors are currently the frontrunners to sign Tyson Chandler, according to two league sources. Chandler loves the idea of playing with Deron Williams in New Jersey and feels the organization is heading in the right direction. On the other hand, Chandler’s decision to meet with the Warriors surprised rival executives. That is, until the team was linked to Chris Paul. Chandler may have to decide between Paul and Williams, which is a great problem to have.
• Unrestricted free agent Darington Hobson has been working out at the Milwaukee Bucks’ facility in recent days as he weighs his training camp options. The Bucks selected Hobson with the 37th overall pick in last year’s draft, but waived him due to a hip injury. Now, Hobson is healthy and the Bucks still like him so don’t be surprised if he ends up on their training camp roster.
• Undrafted free agent Xavier Silas will attend training camp with the Philadelphia 76ers. After a successful stint in France, he’ll begin working out at the 76ers’ facility today. “I grew up watching the Sixers. I grew up watching Philly fans. I’m beyond honored to be a part of such a culture,” Silas told HOOPSWORLD. Silas was one of the leading scorers in the country last year with Northern Illinois, and he displayed his hard work and excellent attitude throughout the draft process. He has a legitimate shot at making Philadelphia’s roster because he’s the quintessential team player.
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