Trade rumors circling around New Orleans Hornets star Chris Paul, who can become a free agent in 2012, could be resolved before the team's opener as the franchise's management seeks to avoid a repeat of the months-long Carmelo Anthony drama, report Chris Broussard and Marc Stein of ESPN.
ESPN reports that Paul met with New Orleans GM Dell Demps on Monday, where the All-Star reportedly continued to decline an offered extension, instead opting to hit free agency in July 2012. CP3, a six-year veteran, has never been a free agent.
The situation is complicated by the fact that the Hornets are owned by the league and overseen by a president, Jac Sperling, who was appointed by NBA commissioner David Stern.
ESPN reports that in addition to the L.A. Lakers, the Golden State Warriors, L.A. Clippers, Houston Rockets and Atlanta Hawks have expressed interest in making a CP3 deal happen. But it's unclear what if any assets those teams will relinquish without an assurance that Paul will sign a new deal in the offseason or agree to an extension upon being traded.
For more on the Hornets, visit SB Nation's At The Hive.