Paul shows up for Hornets training camp
WESTWEGO, La. (AP) - One day after Chris Paul learned his trade to the Los Angeles Lakers wasn't going to happen, he showed up nonetheless for the opening of Hornets training camp in suburban New Orleans.
The 26-year-old Paul was seen walking in the training facility Friday wearing a black Hornets practice jersey, and he appeared to be in good spirits.
On Thursday night, NBA rejected a proposed trade of the All-Star guard to the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Hornets had established the framework of a three-team deal that would have sent Lamar Odom to New Orleans and Pau Gasol to Houston. The deal also would have sent Luis Scola, Kevin Martin and Goran Dragic from the Rockets to New Orleans, along with a 2012 first-round draft choice.
The Hornets were disappointed the deal was not approved.
"Of course, Dell (Demps) and Monty (Williams) were very upset when everything fell through,'' said a person familiar with the work the general manager and coach had put into negotiations that led to the proposed trade. "They had spent a lot of time on it and they thought it was a great deal for the team.''
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the sensitivity of the situation.
Paul is a four-time All-Star who has the ability to walk in free agency after this season. He has so far resisted signing an extension in New Orleans, which has motivated Hornets general manager Dell Demps to try to revamp his roster by trading the star guard.
When the lockout ended, the Hornets had only five players under contract, including Paul. The others were center Emeka Okafor, forward Trevor Ariza, forward Quincy Pondexter and point guard Jarrett Jack. They all reported to camp on time.
Also returning for training camp was forward Patrick Ewing Jr., who was on the squad late last season but played sparingly.
The Hornets have also tendered an offer to restricted free agent shooting guard Marco Belinelli, though he was not expected to report yet as it was not clear whether another team would bid for him.
A handful of players, most of them from the NBA Development League, were invited for training camp on what are known as "make-good contracts,'' with the hope if impressing coaches enough to earn a roster spot.
They included guards Carldell Johnson and Justin Dentmon, and center Brian Butch.