by Ryne Nelson

AP says the Cats and the Hornets are close to “finalizing a trade.” The Worldwide Leader says News Orleans and Charlotte are in “advanced discussions” about swapping centers. At least two “anonymous” sources back up the reports. Early word about this summer blockbuster seems promising, yet we’re not removing the question mark from the title of this post.

It’s not that we’re afraid. Ha! Whoever suggested that?! We would remove the question mark in a quick step if it wasn’t Tyson Chandler’s pesky big toe we’re talking about.

From The Times-Picayune:

The New Orleans Hornets are talking to the Charlotte Bobcats about a possible trade that includes Hornets center Tyson Chandler, according to league sources.

The deal calls for the Hornets to trade Chandler for Charlotte center Emeka Okafor.

Work the logistics out on this one for us because it doesn’t make sense for the Hornets. Oak and T-Chandler make similar bank for the next two years, but Okafor is locked in like a vice for four additional seasons. If the Chandler experiment doesn’t work in Charlotte, at least they’ll have an opportunity to start fresh in 2011.

There has to be something/someone else coming from the Charlotteans to sweeten this deal, right? The Hornets would be wise to measure this move carefully. Not only does it affect the team, long-term but, more importantly, it affects Chris Paul’s future as well.