With trade speculation swirling around him, Chris Paul said Wednesday that he's open to a trade if the New Orleans Hornets aren't committed to winning championships.Coming straight from CP3, this will only add to the buzz around the Hornets from teams trying to pry Paul away from New Orleans. The article goes on to mention rumored deals from Orlando (which GM Otis Smith denies) and the Nyets. While he left LeBron out of the list of free agents (does he think he'll be fined, too?), one can only dream of LBJ and CP3 being paired up in MSG for years to come.
"My first choice is to be in New Orleans,'' Paul said in a telephone interview from London. "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.''
Reports that clubs have been making offers for Paul surfaced earlier this week. Hornets general manager Jeff Bower denied that the club was shopping its three-time All-Star point guard, but admitted to having dialogue with other teams concerning "all of our players.'' New Hornets coach Monty Williams said he expects Paul to remain in New Orleans.
But around the league, speculation remains that the Hornets may move Paul. With owner George Shinn's proposed sale to Gary Chouest being delayed for financial reasons, opposing executives believe New Orleans may have to trade Paul and the $50 million owed to him over the next three seasons.
"If George Shinn can't sell the team, I think Chris Paul will be traded," an executive from an Eastern Conference team said. "Shinn's strapped for money. He's going to have to move him."
Paul said he does not have a wish list of teams he'd like to play for and emphasized that his desire is to remain in New Orleans -- as long as the Hornets are doing all they can to compete for a title.
After reaching the second round of the playoffs two years ago, the Hornets have been on the decline and failed to make the postseason last year. Opposing executives aren't convinced the club has the financial resources to build the team into a consistent contender.
"I'm fine with staying in New Orleans, but I want to make sure we're committed to winning," said Paul, whose been lauded for the community work he's done in New Orleans. "I don't want to rebuild. I want to win now. It's nothing personal against the city. I love that city. But my biggest thing is winning."
"I'm friends with D-Wade, LeBron, Chris Bosh, Joe Johnson and all these other free agents," said Paul, who's in London promoting his Brand Jordan sneakers. "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."
The longer the negotiations take for the sale of the Hornets, the better the odds Paul is traded. But while we'd all love to just ship Eddy Curry, that's not enough to bring Paul to NY. I don't know if the Knicks have enough to get Paul. What kind of package do you think it would take to get Chris here from the New Orleans? Post your thoughts in the comments.