New Orleans Hornets management and coaches are going to try to keep Chris Paul happy all year long, and hope he stays with the team.
While both sides are doing and saying all the right things to bury the rumors now, I don't think this is a dead issue.
The Hornets looked solid last night against a tough Milwaukee Bucks team, and Chris Paul was sensational as usual with 17 points and 16 assists.
However, they can't just be solid if they want Paul to stick around for the long haul. He's made it clear he wants to be on a team that can contend for an NBA title. Right now, New Orleans doesn't have the pieces in place to do that.
If Chris Paul plays the entire season in The Big Easy, I would see them finishing anywhere from sixth to 10th in the Western Conference. If they're struggling to just be a part of the playoff picture, Paul may begin to put pressure on the organization and be out before the trade deadline.
They've already made a precautionary move in anticipation of Paul's possible exodus. Bringing Jerryd Bayless from the Portland Trail Blazers gives them a solid safety net, if CP3 decides to buzz off.
Here are some teams I think he could end up on...