Chris Paul to Clippers: Trade Reportedly Dead as League Refuses to Budge

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistDecember 12, 2011

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 19:  Chris Paul #3 of the New Orleans Hornets competes in the Taco Bell Skills Challenge apart of NBA All-Star Saturday Night at Staples Center on February 19, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

A trade sending New Orleans Hornets point guard Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Clippers is dead, according to ESPN's Bill Simmons.

The two teams had been tirelessly working on a deal over the past couple days, but the league-owned Hornets wouldn't budge on their asking price. Even for an elite performer like Paul, his price tag is probably too high for a team to risk making a deal right now.

The rumored deal would have sent Paul to the Clippers in exchange for Eric Gordon, Chris Kaman, Al-Farouq Aminu and Minnesota's 2012 first-round pick. The pick is unprotected, which means it could be equal to the first overall selection should the Timberwolves struggle again this season.

Still, the league held firm in wanting Eric Bledsoe added to the trade to complete it, according to Chris Broussard. And now it appears talks have broken off after a stalemate was reached.

Paul has endured a whirlwind of emotions over the past week after it was reported he was set to join the Los Angeles Lakers, only to watch commissioner David Stern intervene to veto the deal.

The dynamic point guard has a player option for next season, so he could walk away from New Orleans without the Hornets receiving any compensation at season's end. That's what makes the league's hard-line stance on the matter so shocking to many basketball enthusiasts like Simmons.

Teaming up with dunk master Blake Griffin would seem like an advantageous move for Paul, who averaged 17 points, 10 assists and four rebounds last season.

But instead it seems like he's stuck with the Hornets for near future, at least until the league is willing to make its asking price more reasonable.


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