All-Star Chris Paul Says He Hopes to Help New Orleans for `Many Years'

Chris Paul said he was pleased with the direction the New Orleans Hornets are taking after meeting today with top management of the National Basketball Association team.

Paul, the Hornets’ 25-year-old point guard and a three-time All-Star, met with coach Monty Williams, General Manager Dell Demps and team President Hugh Weber to discuss the team’s future.

The meeting in New Orleans followed a report last week on CBSSports.com that Paul would ask to be traded. Demps told the Times-Picayune of New Orleans that Paul didn’t request a trade, and Paul said the meeting “went well.”

“I expressed my desire to win, and I like what they said about the direction that they want to take the team,” Paul said in a statement issued by the Hornets. “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.”

CBSSports.com reported last week that Paul “wants out” of New Orleans, citing an unidentified person. The report stated that Paul “wants to play with another superstar. He wants to follow LeBron’s model of teaming up with other great players.”

Paul left the sports agency Octagon this month and signed with the Creative Arts Agency’s Leon Rose, who also represents LeBron James. He also recently joined James’s marketing company, LRMR, which is run by James’ adviser, Maverick Carter. James, the two-time reigning NBA Most Valuable Player, jumped as a free agent this month to the Miami Heat, joining fellow All-Stars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

According to a report on ESPN on July 22, the New York Knicks topped Paul’s list of desired destinations, with the Orlando Magic second.

Paul will make $13.5 million this year and is under contract with the Hornets for the next two seasons. The Hornets failed to make the playoffs last season, and Paul played in 45 games before season-ending surgery for a torn meniscus in his left knee.

To contact the reporter responsible for this story: Barry Rothbard in New York at brothbard@bloomberg.net

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