Following his Monday meeting, Chris Paul and the Hornets released a statement saying things went well. Everyone kind of rolled their eyes and didn't think much of it because that's what players and PR people do. Ken Berger told us exactly that very thing shortly after the meeting went down.
But according to one report, Dell Demps must've made a nice impression.
An article from the Times-Picayune says after hearing Demps' plan for retooling the roster, Paul is "on board with the team's direction and will not seek to force a trade."
Demps must have one heck of a plan then. In the article it gives a hint on the direction:
Demps said they plan to put the necessary pieces around Paul by coming up with creative ways to make trades. Sources said Paul is confident Demps will be able to make the necessary moves on a roster that has remained stagnant during free agency. Backup center Aaron Gray remains the Hornets' only signee this offseason.What necessary moves? Sign Shaq? Go after Tracy McGrady? I don't get it. He obviously must mean wait for the trade deadline or next offseason, because pickings are slim right now.
But not so fast there. Berger continues to hear differently on Paul's intentions from his sources. He sends along this info:
While Demps may have bought the organization some time to deal with the Paul dilemma, a person with knowledge of the point guard's strategy said Thursday his desire to be traded before the start of the season did not diminish based on Monday's 90-minute meeting. Both sides agreed to stay quiet about what was discussed in the meeting, but the person familiar with Paul's situation said his camp "wants him moved" before the season starts. But with no games until November, Paul's operatives are willing to give the Hornets' new decision-making team "air to breathe to work on it," the person said.So this isn't over quite yet. In fact, it might just now be getting good.
The NBA's memo Tuesday warning teams of stiff penalties if they tamper with Paul means that Paul's new agent, Leon Rose, ultimately will need the Hornets' cooperation to broker a deal. With two years left on Paul's contract before he can opt out, the extent to which Demps is willing to engage in serious trade talks will be the next shoe to drop in the Summer of CP3 saga.
The Times-Picayune story says the Hornets won't listen to any offers for Paul. Also mentioned is this quote: "Chris never said anything about a trade, '' a source close to Paul said. "All he said is that he wants to win. He does so much in the community. He hasn't built those courts around (town) for nothing. Of course, he wants to be here.''
Which I find odd because Paul publicly said he'd be open to a trade if the right situation presented itself. This sounds like positive spin from Paul's camp so in order to not come out looking like a bad guy. Not everyone wants to walk down the road LeBron did just to get a shot at winning. Besides, there have been multiple reports saying CP3 would like to be traded to a contender. Multiple high-profile, plugged-in insiders have reported the same thing. There's definitely some smoke here. And this report from the Times-Picayune might just be an effort to put out some of the fire.