The New Orleans Hornets and the Los Angeles Clippers potentially could have been involved in one of the biggest deals of the 2011 NBA offseason. But there seem to be huge issues for Chris Paul ending up in Donald Sterling's organization.
Both teams understand Paul's position, but don't feel comfortable moving forward with no assurances he would stay with them after this season.
The Clippers, for example, are very reluctant to include the unprotected first-round pick from Minnesota they currently own in any deal with New Orleans -- which is understandably holding out for the maximum amount possible in exchange for its franchise player -- under the current scenario. A source indicated Wednesday it would be up to the Hornets to lower their demands for Paul to make the deal happen. New Orleans wants a combination of young players and Draft picks for Paul. But the Clippers' package still does not include guard Eric Gordon, the player the Hornets are believed to covet most off of L.A.'s roster.
The Clippers simply want to hold onto too much to keep Paul at this moment. The Clippers refuse to include Gordon, who is probably the critical component to any sort of movement being made on this deal. They also seem reticent to make a move. Instead they seem willing to part with only.
Still, it might be worth it for Los Angeles to hang on to their nucleus if CP3 is only interested in being around as a short-term rental. The fact that he refuses to make a long-term commitment to the team will probably keep the Clippers from throwing in bigger players, instead settling for a much smaller package. Paul might be willing to sign with the Hornets if players like Gordon stick around, but will the Hornets make a deal without him involved?