Simple as that.
If I'm Donnie Walsh I stay patient because I have assets to offer that, in comparison to Los Angeles and Orlando, look pretty darn attractive and competitive.
Any deal would have to include either Anthony Randolph, who played college ball in Louisiana at LSU, or Danilo Gallinari. The Hornets just drafted two forwards in Quincy Pondexter and Knicks favorite Craig Brackins so they are solid at forward, but Randolph would be attractive because he can play multiple positions. I imagine they'd lean towards him rather than Gallo, considering the Bee's have Peja under contract for another year.
I would imagine the Hornets are pressed to allow Darren Collison to start if they moved Paul. Since the Knicks can't trade Raymond Felton until December, per league rules, that means Toney Douglas would probably be included in the deal and would serve as Collison's backup. The Hornets may wait this out anyway, so Felton could be in play, but I imagine because of his contract Douglas would be more attractive.
Okafor or not I would imagine the deal would have to include size. So that means that Ronny Turiaf's stay in NY may be over, unless the Hornets would be interested in Mosgov (Dec 15) or Jerome Jordan for depth up front.
The wildcard here, besides Okafor, would be Eddy Curry's contract. I would hold that out at all costs. Frankly, I'd have a hard time giving away Randolph in a deal that forced us to take back Okafor. If the Knicks could get Paul without having to take Okafor and without giving up Curry's contract, then it's party time. Something like Douglas, Randolph, Turiaf and future draft picks would be a decent place to start conversations for just CP3, and I think that's as competitive an offer that the Hornets could see. The Hornets would have to wait until 2014 to secure a first round pick from NY, but since both LA and Orlando are top conference teams, their first round picks would be at the end of the round and don't hold substancial more value before 2014 anyway.
The Lakers can center the deal around Bynum, who is fragile and has a huge contract. But they can toss in recent draft picks in Ebanks and Character. But their offense isn't centered around a traditional PG. In fact, Phil Jackson probably couldn't pick one out of a lineup. Orlando can put together a Jameer Nelson, Pietrus, Daniel Orton/future picks situation just for Paul, but I don't know if that's enticing enough.
Again, the Hornets would want financial benefits, as well as the ability to acquire depth.
That said, the Knicks will be wise to stay patient here and we've talked about how Paul has already expressed interest in the Big Apple.
But if they want to immediately jump to the head of the pack and seal the deal by having an advantage over both LA and Orlando, they'd have to take back Okafor's contract.
Of course, there can always be a 3rd team involved as well.