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Hornets prepared to deal Chris Paul before the season starts, but are Magic making strong enough push?

2011 December 5
by Brian Serra

In the latest report from Chris Broussard and Marc Stein, the ESPN duo reports that the Hornets are indeed moving closer to trading Chris Paul after CP3 reiterated his desire to not sign an extension.

Just as Dwight Howard met today with the Magic and Otis Smith, Chris Paul also met today with Hornets GM Dell Demps.

From ESPN: Sources told that Paul and Hornets general manager Dell Demps did have their expected sitdown at the team’s practice facility Monday and that the tone of the meeting was amicable. But Paul, sources said, did not tell the Hornets that he is prepared to sign an extension before the regular season opens Christmas Day, which only increases the likelihood that the Hornets deal the star guard this month.

It also appears that the Clippers, Warriors, Rockets and Hawks are the teams that have made the strongest push for Paul.   The Magic are not listed in the ESPN article at all except for a small excerpt mentioning a swap of Bynum and Dwight Howard.

From ESPN: The Los Angeles Clippers, Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets and Atlanta Hawks have shown the most interest in trading for Paul, according to sources briefed on the talks. One source told that virtually every team in the league has called.

All of those teams could offer varying deals, with the Clippers and Warriors able to offer the most competitive deals in relation to what the Magic could offer.  While the Hornets can decide whom they choose to trade with, none of those other teams are going to give up their assets without knowing that they at least have a legitimate shot at signing Chris Paul long term. The obvious fear factor in the above statement is that the Magic aren’t listed as a “pusher”.  I wouldn’t read too much into that though.  There are plenty of dominoes that must topple before any real action is made. The first one for Orlando is the meeting that took place today between Dwight and Otis.

The best case scenario for the Magic would be for Paul to come out -or leak through his “people”- that the only teams he would be willing to play for are Orlando and New York.  So far that hasn’t happened. Well, it hasn’t happened with any true weight behind it.

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