Chris Paul Open to Leaving Hornets
Paul, an All-Star point guard with the New Orleans Hornets, told Chris Broussard of ESPN The Magazine that he would be amenable to a trade if the Hornets aren't committed to winning a championship.
"My first choice is to be in New Orleans,'' Paul said. "I just want to make sure we're committed to winning. If we're not committed to winning and trying to get better so we can contend with the Lakers, the Celtics and all these other top teams, then I'm open to being traded.''
Paul, widely considered one of the top point guards in the league, has seen his name come up in trade talks in recent days as George Shinn, who has owned the Hornets since the team was created in Charlotte in 1988, is close to finalizing a deal to sell the team. Paul could be dealt to reduce payroll to make the club more attractive to potential buyers.
While the destinations of unrestricted free agents like LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Joe Johnson have drawn the most interest, a trade involving Paul could be a potential blockbuster and New Jersey, which has the third pick in Thursday's NBA Draft and Orlando, last year's Eastern Conference champions, are rumored to be on the market for Paul, if the Hornets decide to deal.
"I'm friends with D-Wade, LeBron, Chris Bosh, Joe Johnson and all these other free agents," said Paul, currently in London to promote his sneaker line. "I'm watching them try to figure out what they're going to do to put themselves in a position to win championships. I'd love to be a part of that stuff."