The New Orleans Hornets may trade guard Chris Paul before the season starts if he hasn’t signed an extension by then, according to ESPN.com.
ESPN reports that Paul sat down with Hornets general manager Dell Demps on Monday, but Paul did not tell Demps that he was prepared to sign an extension before Christmas Day.
Additionally, sources told ESPN that the league-owned Hornets believe they will be more attractive to potential buyers if they can stabilize the Paul issue as soon as possible.
The Los Angeles Clippers, Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets and Atlanta Hawks have shown the most interest in trading for Paul, though “virtually every team” has called, including the Los Angeles Lakers, according to ESPN. The preferred trade partners for the Hornets are the Clippers and Warriors, sources told ESPN. Paul can opt out of his contract on July 1, 2012 but could elect to play one more year (at $17.8 million). Paul’s salary is listed as $16.4 million this season, according to ESPN.