Hornets, Chris Paul Working on Exit Strategy?
Few bought into Paul’s PR-heavy statement yesterday that everything’s all good in New Orleans; least of all CBS and their sources: “This is the united front being portrayed to the outside world. On the inside, little has changed: Yes, Paul wants to win, but realizes that for reasons beyond the control of new GM Dell Demps and new coach Monty Williams, it can’t happen in New Orleans. And the organization itself has begun the inevitable process of exploring ways to make this end to everyone’s satisfaction. The Hornets succeeded in only one of their goals Monday: ending the public part of this spectacle. The rest of it, up to and including a possible trade that will extricate Paul from the Hornets while salvaging some semblance of value for the organization, will be dealt with behind closed doors. ‘The telltale thing is that Chris Paul won’t comment publicly other than what was released about it,’ said a person familiar with Paul’s strategy. ‘Leon Rose didn’t come out and say, ‘Chris is happy in New Orleans.’ If he was happy, they would’ve said that. … The only way they can get close to full value is to say, ‘You guys can’t make trade demands.’ They’re orchestrating this thing to likely move him.’ According to multiple people within the NBA who are familiar with the Hornets’ predicament, Paul’s new cadre of power brokers at Creative Artists Agency, led by Rose, are continuing to push Paul’s exit strategy from New Orleans — something members of the organization are well aware of and expected.”