Monday , Jul , 26 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Publicly Paul and Hornets play nice, but privately who knows?

Chris Paul met with several members of the Hornets front office on Monday to discuss the state of the franchise and a possible trade.

“The meeting went well," wrote Paul in a statement. "It was great to get an opportunity to sit down with Coach Williams, President Weber and our new General Manager Dell Demps. I expressed my desire to win and I like what they said about the direction that they want to take the team. I have been a Hornet my entire career and I hope to represent the city of New Orleans and state of Louisiana for many years to come.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: For the public, Chris Paul and the New Orleans Hornets played nice. They had to.

Paul can’t officially tell media and fans he asked for a trade. The Collective Bargaining Agreement doesn’t allow players to take their trade requests public.

Paul also understands such a demand would hurt the Hornets’ ability to attain equal value. If the club can’t get equal value, there’s no chance of a trade.

It was in the player and team’s interests to downplay things, which is exactly what occurred Monday morning.

Paul and the Hornets can deny it all they like, but privately, behind closed doors, they surely discussed his trade request.

This was the giant elephant in the room. To not acknowledge it, to not talk about it, to ignore it, would make things far worse.

Executive Dell Demps, rookie coach Monty Williams, and Paul surely put all cards on the table this morning, so they could find common ground on moving forward.

How they achieved this is unknown. And what they decided on is also unknown.

Perhaps Paul won’t report to training camp and Demps must quickly cut the best deal possible.

Perhaps Paul starts the season in New Orleans, while Demps, with the pressure off, can get take his time to get equal value. 

Perhaps Paul plays out the remaining two years of his contract and – if a more equitable CBA for small markets takes effect in 2011 – considers re-signing with the Hornets.

The bottom line is we don’t know. Obviously, Paul and the organization weren’t telling us what they talked about. Instead, we got the point guard’s carefully crafted statement and Demps’ denials. 

One thing is known about Paul’s meeting with the Hornets: they talked about his trade request. Too much is at stake to ignore the giant elephant in the room.

–Oly Sandor.
 
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