Hugh Weber: Chris Paul will be a Hornet

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Published: July 3, 2010

I just put up an article in the News section that was speculating on the fact that should LeBron James stay in Cleveland, he and Byron Scott could produce a powerful lure to get Paul to the Cavaliers.

However, this is the part I think all of you might find the most fascinating:

Hornets president Hugh Weber, at a team event Saturday morning with Paul present, insisted to the assembled media that Paul starting next season in New Orleans is a 100 percent certainty.

“No question, yes,” Weber said.

Elaborating on the increasingly rampant trade speculation surrounding Paul since his recent interview with ESPN The Magazine’s Chris Broussard — in which Paul acknowledged for the first time that he would want to be traded if the Hornets aren’t serious about spending what it takes to contend — Weber added Saturday: “It’s more of a distraction for him, he’s the one who has to answer the questions. We’re getting our business done and we know what we need to do and Chris knows and has been collaborating with us on all the moves and changes we’ve had. “

On Friday, Paul told local reporters that his preference remains staying New Orleans — a city he is known to genuinely love — and that his recent comments to Broussard were intended to “make sure we’re committed to winning.”

In other words, Paul was giving his usual canned response when asked about being traded, the same response EVERY athelete should practice when their team isn’t a contender:  I love the city I play in, but if the team isn’t serious about winning, I’d be open to a trade.

This isn’t a surprising quote.  It doesn’t alienate a player from his fan base, but also doesn’t insult the reader’s intelligence by implying that winning isn’t the players primary consideration.

Now, don’t think this will end the trade speculation – hell that entire excerpt was housed in a article headlining that Byron Scott MAY cause James to MAYBE stay in Cleveland, which MAY cause Paul to go to Cleveland.  In other words, the speculation took the headline, and the real information was pushed to the bottom.

Regardless, my personal confidence Paul will remain a Hornet just went from 70% to 95%.  In related news, my confidence Darren Collison will remain a Hornet just dropped from 50% to 30%.

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