Chris Paul was rumored to want out of New Orleans, then just before the start of training camp, he started changing his tune.
Now, it appears the trade winds are picking up again in New Orleans.
As if a humiliating 135-81 preseason loss to the Orlando Magic wasn’t bad enough to have at least a little impact on damaging Paul’s enthusiasm for staying in New Orleans, the future of the Hornets organization remains up in the air.
After multiple reports Sunday suggested the sale of the team to Louisiana billionaire Gary Chouset was off, USA Today reported Monday that the deal isn’t dead quite yet.
It’s just taking a long, long, long time.
In fact, talks between current owner George Shinn and Chouset have been dragging on since April.
With no clear end in sight, and the Hornets appearing to be on the outside of the Western Conference playoff picture heading into the season, Chris Paul isn’t likely to be content to remain in New Orleans for long.
Here are 10 reasons why CP3 will be on the move very soon.
Sure, both the Knicks and the Nets already have point guards in place. But given the new direction of the NBA, why not try to assemble a roster filled with superstars?
Both the Knicks and Nets have a strong desire to land Carmelo Anthony and might settle for Chris Paul instead if the Hornets offer him for a relatively minimal asking price.
New York needs a center and New Jersey needs a scoring forward, but conventional wisdom might take a backseat to availability in the coming weeks.
New Jersey has been reluctant to give into the Nuggets’ immense demands for Carmelo Anthony, but could be willing to move players to land Chris Paul.
The Nets would like to hang onto Derrick Favors, but would likely move him to acquire Paul.
Bringing in another team would allow New Jersey to unload the vastly overpaid Devin Harris and free up money to ink Paul to a long-term extension.
The Knicks signed Raymond Felton in the offseason to run the point, but would gladly move him to acquire Paul.
New York is also reportedly shopping Wilson Chandler, who is recovering from offseason surgeries, and might be willing to move Danilo Gallinari, if needed.
The Hornets aren’t in a great position to bargain, so the Knicks could get the better of a potential deal.
Chris Paul met with GM Dell Demps and head coach Monty Williams this summer and came away impressed.
With the season approaching and the team still not sold, Demps and Williams are running out of things to say to keep Paul happy.
The Hornets are losing money, play in an economically-deprived market, and are owned by penny-pincher George Shinn.
All three of those factors will be enough for Paul to begin aggressively seeking a trade.
Paul said he was encouraged by the Hornets’ commitment to improving the roster, but those comments came with the belief that the team would be sold.
That still hasn’t happened…
Way back in April, Hornets owner George Shinn began negotiating the sale of his franchise to Gary Chouset.
An agreement on the terms of the sale has yet to be reached, and there are no signs it will happen anytime soon.
Talks could drag on for weeks, even months, and threaten to provide another hurdle for the Hornets to overcome.
Chris Paul is running out of time—and patience—in New Orleans.
If a deal happens, it will be because Chris Paul wants a deal to happen.
Paul has said all the right things publicly and has been reluctant to express his desire to leave New Orleans.
With the rest of the NBA’s young stars controlling their own destiny, Paul simply wants to put himself in the best position to win while receiving a lucrative long-term extension.
It’s doubtful either of those things will happen if he stays put.
After missing out in free agency, the Nets would love to land a superstar with the move to Brooklyn looming.
It appears that the Nets would be able to get Paul for less than it would cost to acquire Carmelo Anthony, leaving the franchise in a good position for the future.
Right now, New Jersey still isn’t even a playoff team in the Eastern Conference.
Landing Chris Paul would change that.
If any team will overpay to land talent, it’s the New York Knicks.
New York has aspirations of forming a big three and would do whatever it takes to flank Amar’e Stoudemire with Chris Paul.
New York improved dramatically this summer, but remains a level below the top teams in the Eastern Conference heading into the season.
Ultimately, CP3 will do what’s best for his career.
New Orleans is headed in the wrong direction and still needs help across the board, especially in the paint.
The Hornets look like one of the worst teams in the Western Conference heading into the season.
Aside from David West, the front line lacks talent and is undersized. Newly-acquired small forward Trevor Ariza is an injury waiting to happen, and Marcus Thornton is steady, but will never be a star.
Given the uncertainty surrounding the Hornets franchise, the future appears no brighter than the present.
Chris Paul already has one foot out the door.