GM: Paul didn't ask for trade

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 3:24 PM ET

NEW ORLEANS, La. -- Three-time All-Star point guard Chris Paul met with Hornets management Monday, and new general manager Dell Demps said Paul did not ask to be traded.

Demps added that he felt confident Paul will play for the Hornets next season.

"Chris asked what the direction of the team was," Demps said. "He talked to us, we kind of talked about some things we're going to look to do in the future. He seemed, in my opinion, excited and ready to play."

Demps, who was named the team's GM this past Wednesday, said he, new head coach Monty Williams and team president Hugh Weber met with Paul, his agent Leon Rose and his brother, C.J. Paul released a statement following the sit- down.

"The meeting went well," the statement said. "It was great to get an opportunity to sit down with Coach Williams, President Weber and our new General Manager Dell Demps. I expressed my desire to win and I like what they said about the direction that they want to take the team. I have been a Hornet my entire career and I hope to represent the city of New Orleans and state of Louisiana for many years to come."

Paul has two years remaining on his contract before he can opt out with the Hornets. His contract will pay him about $45 million over the next three seasons, as he has a player option for 2012-13 worth nearly $18 million.

The fourth overall pick out of Wake Forest by the Hornets in the 2005 draft, Paul averaged 18.7 points, 10.7 assists, 4.2 rebounds, and 2.1 steals this past season. He played in just 45 games due to various injuries.

Just prior to this year's draft, Hornets owner George Shinn released a statement, saying Paul is the franchise's "cornerstone" and the player the team will continue to build around.

But Paul reportedly developed concerns about the Hornets' slow offseason moves this summer. The team signed guard Luther Head earlier this month and also re-signed backup center Aaron Gray. However, Demps said he did not anticipate the issue with Paul being a season-long distraction.

Paul led the Hornets to the Western Conference semifinals in 2007-08 and the team reached the playoffs the following season. But this past season New Orleans went 37-45.


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