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HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — It might be more than just a rumor, this Chris Paul to the Knicks chatter that has been brewing the past few days.
Adrian Wojnarowski and Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports are reporting that Paul’s agent is requesting that the New Orleans Hornets trade the All-Star point guard to the Knicks as soon as the league lifts the lockout restrictions and teams are able to conduct regular business:
Chris Paul’s agent informed New Orleans officials on Wednesday that his client will not sign a contract extension and wants to be traded to the New York Knicks, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.
As soon as the NBA lifts its lockout restrictions, Hornets general manager Dell Demps wants to meet with Paul and hear that directive from him.
Nevertheless, the prospects of the Hornets executing a trade with the Knicks appear to be relatively dim. The Knicks simply don’t have the trade assets that come close to meeting New Orleans’ criteria for a deal. Demps has been listening to overtures from teams around the league, and has been actively working under the assumption that Paul would reject a contract extension.
The Hornets have no intention of letting Paul walk away at season’s end without trying to get maximum value for him. There are several teams, including the Boston Celtics, that could be willing to make a deal for Paul with the hope of convincing him to eventually sign an extension.
If the flurry of activity expected when teams can conduct free agent business includes a transaction including Paul, the roller coaster ride for several other high-profile players could begin.
The addition of Paul in New York, where he would join All-Stars Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony, would no doubt jolt a few other Eastern Conference contenders to examine their situations to see if there is anything they could do to combat a move of that magnitude.
You’ve got to love having this sort of drama back after that 149-day lockout!