There is a ton of stuff out there today regarding Chris Paul, and it does not appear he is going to get his wish to be traded to the New York Knicks.
So let’s get right to it:
_ David Aldridge of NBA.com: “A league source involved in the discussions said late Tuesday night that the Lakers are still among the teams the New Orleans Hornets are having advanced discussions with on a potential trade of Paul, the four-time All-Star guard who is seeking a trade after spending his first six seasons in the Big Easy. The Lakers, Clippers, Warriors and Celtics currently have a leg up on other teams that are trying to acquire Paul. … The Lakers’ potential offer would send either center Andrew Bynum or forward Pau Gasol along with forward Lamar Odom to the Hornets for Paul. The Clippers are offering a package, according to sources, that includes guard Eric Bledsoe, forward Al-Farouq Aminu, center Chris Kaman and the unprotected 2012 first-round pick the Clippers currently possess from the Timberwolves. Another source was adamant Tuesday that the Clippers have not included rising star guard Eric Gordon in any package for Paul, preferring to keep Gordon and Blake Griffin together to team with Paul in their own “SuperFriends” team like the Heat. The Warriors are offering a package involving their young star guard Stephen Curry and their first-round pick Klay Thompson. The Celtics’ package, according to a source, centers on guard Rajon Rondo, along with the rights to first-rounder MarShon Brooks, forward Avery Bradley and a 2012 first-round pick from the Clippers that is protected through the first 10 picks of the Draft. While the Hornets could conceivably make a deal with any of those teams individually, it’s more likely that each of them will require a third team getting involved to get the Hornets the combination of young players and Draft picks they’re asking for in exchange for Paul. And the fluidity of the situation, with the Hornets looking for as much as they possibly can get for Paul, makes establishing a single frontrunner difficult.
_ Sam Amick of SI.com: “Sources told SI.com that the Hornets have homed in on the Clippers, Warriors and Celtics as possible trade partners. While it remains unclear which team leads the sprint for Paul’s services, the notion that he could be dealt before the regular season starts on Dec. 25 — if not the start of training camp on Friday — has never appeared more likely. But while Yahoo! reported that Paul indicated the Clippers and Warriors could increase their odds of landing him long-term if they signed free-agent center Tyson Chandler, a source with knowledge of the situation said Golden State had not received that message. The Clippers, meanwhile, have no interest in signing Chandler because of their plan to re-sign restricted-free-agent center DeAndre Jordan. The Lakers, Mavericks and Rockets are also pushing hard for Paul but appear to be behind in the running, in large part because Hornets general manager Dell Demps is coveting the sort of young pieces those teams lack. While a source close to Paul confirmed that he would want to play with the Lakers long-term, there is concern on the Hornets’ side that the possible acquisition of center Andrew Bynum would be problematic given the presence of Emeka Okafor. According to sources close to the talks, the Warriors’ offer includes third-year guard Stephen Curry, rookie guard Klay Thompson and second-year forward Ekpe Udoh. Golden State would pay a hefty price on top of losing those players because its plan would involve waiving center Andris Biedrins via the new amnesty clause (his deal has three years and $27 million remaining) and signing Chandler to a four-year deal that would likely start in the neighborhood of $15 million annually.
_ Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports: “Three teams in pursuit of Paul believe the Hornets will push for final offers – and make a decision – by the start of training camp on Friday. … The Clippers’ and Warriors’ packages are the most intriguing to New Orleans general manager Dell Demps, league sources said. So far, talks between the Hornets and Los Angeles Lakers have gathered little, if any, traction, sources said. The Boston Celtics remain aggressive in their pursuit of Paul and held discussions with New Orleans on Tuesday. As New Orleans prepared to make a trade that could clear significantly more salary cap space for them, Hornets officials have reached out to see if they could still get involved in contract negotiations with free-agent center Nene and point guard J.J. Barea, league sources said. Nene’s bidding could be pushing upwards of $14 million a season, with the Nuggets re-emerging as a serious suitor to keep him, sources said. The New Jersey Nets, Rockets and Indiana Pacers have yet to show a willingness to spend $14 million-$15 million a year to sign Nene, and that could ultimately leave him destined to return to the Nuggets. Still, many teams have yet to extend their best offers in free-agent talks. “Dell has to figure out what he wants,” one team official in the talks said. “Does he want to rebuild, get players to flip [in other trades], or just fit guys into their roster. It’s up to New Orleans to decide the package they want now. No one wants this to extend into training camp – not them, or us.”
_ John Reid of the New Orleans Times-Picayune: “The Chris Paul era in New Orleans could be ending as early as this weekend if Hornets General Manager Dell Demps can find adequate value in trading the four-time All-Star point guard. Sources said the Hornets have had preliminary trade discussions with the Lakers, Clippers, Warriors, Mavericks, Celtics, Knicks and Magic. And even more teams could enter the Paul Sweepstakes before it’s all over. The Hornets had been listening to offers since last week, but they are proceeding more intensely after Paul indicated in Monday’s meeting with Demps he is not interested in signing a long-term extension to remain in New Orleans, sources said. … It hasn’t been ruled out that more meetings could occur between Hornets brass and Paul. But for the second consecutive day, Paul on Tuesday did not participate in volunteer workouts with his teammates at the Alario Center. … Hornets backup point guard Jarrett Jack said he wants Paul to remain with the Hornets, but he’s not surprised by the trade rumors. “Right now this is the hot topic, and this is something every player goes through when he’s in the last year of his deal,’’ said Jack, one Paul’s closest friends. “When (Oklahoma City Thunder forward) Kevin Durant is in the last year of his deal and he hasn’t signed an extension yet, he’s going to go through it. If (Bulls point guard) Derrick Rose doesn’t sign an early extension, he’s going to go through it. All of these top-caliber players are going to go through it, it’s the end of their contract. When they feel it’s necessary to sign an extension or play it out through free agency or whatever, that’s the process you go through.”
_ Marc Stein and Chris Broussard of ESPN.com: “Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry and Los Angeles clippers guard Eric Gordon are the two players New Orleans has pursued the hardest in the Hornets’ fast-moving search for a workable Chris Paul trade, according to sources close to the talks. But the Hornets continue to meet with resistance from the Warriors and the Clippers on Curry and Gordon, sources told ESPN.com, because both teams are reluctant to part with their young backcourt cornerstones with no assurance from Paul that he will stay beyond this season. Sources said that the Hornets have actually been trying to convince the Warriors to part with Curry since before last season’s trade deadline in February. But the Warriors could only stomach the inclusion of Curry if they knew Paul would extend his contract as part of the trade or at least commit to invoking his option for the 2012-13 season. Golden State has still received no such promises. The Clippers, meanwhile, have been aggressive in their pursuit of Paul, but sources told ESPNLosAngeles.com’s Ramona Shelburne that neither Gordon nor restricted free agent center DeAndre Jordan have been offered to New Orleans. Said one source close to the situation of Gordon’s inclusion: “That’s a deal-breaker (for the Clippers).”
_ Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle: “Stephen Curry has heard all of the rumors, the newest being that the Warriors could ship him along with Ekpe Udoh and Klay Thompson to New Orleans for Chris Paul. The scuttle, however, doesn’t seem to bother Curry. Paul is “a guy from my hometown, we’ve worked out a lot and I definitely respect his game,” Curry said. “He wants to get to New York eventually or whatever he wants to do. That’s CP’s deal. I’m here and happy in Golden State. There’s nothing that’s putting me on edge.”