Hold Off On the Chris Paul Parade Down Broadway

Paul's meeting with Hornets seems to forestall an immediate trade

In our wilder dreams, Chris Paul was going to storm into his meeting with the Hornets today, lock the door behind him and lay out the two ways that the door was going be unlocked: "Either I'm gonna be on the Knicks or I'm gonna be the only one walking out of here." 

Alas, this isn't a movie and the meeting seemed to follow a more professional course. Not only did Paul not demand to be traded immediately, he also seems to be sending a message of conciliation to the good people of New Orleans in a tweet he sent shortly after leaving the meeting.

"The meeting went well.  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."

That fits well with reports that the Hornets have been turning down interested suitors for Paul left and right over the last few days. It also fits the script that this was sure to follow over the coming weeks and months.

It is unlikely that one meeting, no matter how good, fully changed Paul's mind about heading to a different team if he was really convinced that it was the best move for his career. Given the realities of his situation -- two years on a contract without a no-trade clause -- it was also hard to think he'd just be able to move teams right after deciding that a move was in order. The Hornets have a ton of leverage over Paul right now and were almost required to put up a good fight against trading him to keep their fanbase happy.

That can change over the course of a few months, though. If Paul pouts while the team struggles and/or allows more to leak out about his true wishes, it will be easier to shuffle him off to another team. Additionally, waiting until teams are a bit more desperate within the season could limit the chance that the Hornets find themselves trading from the position of weakness they appeared to be in last week.

In other words, stay tuned -- although it might be quite a slow build until the next can't miss episode of As Chris Paul Turns.

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com. You can follow him on Twitter.

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