The New Orleans Hornets are shopping Chris Paul actively and aggressively, and three Paul suitors told Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports they believe a trade will come by Friday. The New York Knicks have reportedly held discussions with the Hornets, but do not figure to have the assets required to deal for New Orleans' superstar guard.
Paul's agent has already told the Hornets that his client would like to be moved, and preferably dealt to New York, according to Yahoo! Sports. But a number of teams -- foremost being the Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers and Boston Celtics -- are willing to offer larger packages than the Knicks can put together. Multiple teams are reportedly willing to acquire Paul even if he does not sign a contract extension, leaving it extremely unlikely that the Knicks will be able to strike a deal for Paul.
But it's still possible for the Knicks to sign Paul via free agency after the 2011-12 season. Nets guard Deron Williams has already declined to sign a contract extension, saying it does not make financial sense to limit his options that way. If Paul follows the same path, he would become a free agent following the coming season, and the Knicks -- with two superstars already in tow, available cap space likely and a large market that lends itself to endorsement deals and superstar branding -- would figure to be one of his preferred destinations.