Hours after failed deal, Paul trade talks back on with Clippers
Hours after a failed deal, the Clippers, Hornets are revisiting a Chris Paul deal
After the failed deal, the Clippers signed DeAndre Jordan and Chauncey Billups
The dynamics have changed now that Dell Demps is relegated to a minimal role
The Chris Paul trade show continued anew on Monday night, when a source confirmed an ESPN.com report that the Hornets and Clippers re-engaged in discussions to send the four-time All-Star point guard to Los Angeles. It was the latest revelation in a wild day for the Clippers, who matched a four-year, $43 million offer sheet from Golden State for center DeAndre Jordan and picked up veteran point guard Chauncey Billups via the league's new amnesty waiver wire.
The renewed discussions came just hours after a proposed deal fell apart because, according to sources, the NBA's asking price for Paul was simply too steep.
The dynamics of a possible deal have clearly changed now, with one source close to the situation saying the league has taken over almost all negotiations while Hornets general manager Dell Demps has been relegated to a minimal role. The ripple effect around the league could be great, as teams steadily grow wary of dealing with the Hornets and many executives become convinced the league won't deal fairly.
SI.com reported Monday that the deal was in the "final stages" of completion after the teams rekindled discussions Sunday afternoon. The Los Angeles Times first reported Sunday night that the near deal would give the Hornets second-year guard Eric Bledsoe, veteran center Chris Kaman, second-year forward Al-Farouq Aminu and the Clippers' unprotected 2012 first-round draft pick that they received from Minnesota. One source close to the talks, however, told SI.com that shooting guard Eric Gordon could be part of the deal as well.
A source close to Bledsoe said late that night that he was under the impression a deal had been agreed to and that he would likely be traded to the Hornets. When reached by phone late Sunday and asked if an agreement in principle had been reached, Clippers president Andy Roeser declined comment to SI.com.
The proposed deal was submitted to the league's front office for approval Monday morning. In any other case, it would have been a mere formality that the deal be presented to the team's owner. But having commissioner David Stern as the Hornets' de facto owner added a strange twist to the story, especially after the NBA vetoed the team's first attempt at dealing Paul, to the Lakers.
Paul is known to be open to joining the Clippers long-term, but the supporting cast was likely taken into consideration when engaging in discussions with a franchise that has been a laughingstock for so long. While reigning Rookie of the Year Blake Griffin is the centerpiece of the team's new core, Gordon -- whom the Clippers did not want to give up when the two teams talked last week, according to the Los AngelesTimes -- and restricted free agent center Jordan are also key components.
On Sunday, Jordan signed a four-year, $43 million offer sheet from Golden State, giving the Clippers three days to match the offer. SI.com confirmed Monday evening that the Clippers matched the offer and retained their center.
Also on Monday, Billups became the first player to be won off amnesty waivers under the new collective bargaining agreement. Billups was waived by the Knicks on Sunday with the new amnesty provision, giving teams under the salary cap the chance to bid for his services. The Clippers won the bidding at $2 million, meaning they'll pay only that portion of his $14.2 million salary this season while the Knicks foot the rest. Under the amnesty rules, Billups can't be traded before July 1, so the Clippers can't use him as bait in a deal for Paul.
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