David Stern strikes again. According to multiple outlets, the league’s asking price for Chris Paul was deemed too high by the Clippers, and negotiations between the two teams have come to an end.
Although the details aren’t completely confirmed, it’s believed the Hornets were insisting that the Clippers give up Eric Gordon, Minnesota’s 2012 draft pick, another first round pick, Al-Farouq Aminu, Eric Bledsoe, and Chris Kaman.
With no other team in the immediate race for Paul’s services, the league essentially wanted the Clippers to outbid themselves and forfeit every asset they had available.
Paul was reportedly ready to opt-in once traded to the Clippers, giving him at the bare minimum two years with the team.
It’s possible the Clippers and Hornets re-engage, but not as likely that the Hornets move off their hard-line stance. This is no longer about “basketball reasons” or the marketability of a franchise — it’s about proving a point. Stern and the owners don’t want players to be able to force a small market franchise to trade them to a destination of their choosing. The league, even if it kills New Orleans in the meantime, seems content with letting Chris Paul walk at the end of the year and become a true free agent.
More details as they come, but it sounds as though the Chris Paul dream is officially dead. Again.