Hornets exec: 'No question' Paul will be here
WESTWEGO, La. (AP)
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Weber made the assurances a day after Paul, while hosting his CP3 Foundation golf outing, said that while he considers New Orleans his adopted hometown and loves the city, he would not be interested in remaining with the Hornets long-term if the club fails to demonstrate an immediate commitment to winning.
Weber said the Hornets will be active in free agency and will continue to consult Paul on roster moves, as they have been.
"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,'' Weber said while he and Paul attended a community relations event to promote reading at the club's suburban New Orleans training headquarters.
Numerous teams have contacted the Hornets about trading for Paul, a three-time All-Star guard who has two seasons to go before he can opt out of his current contract with New Orleans. The Hornets had not previously ruled out trading Paul, but had consistently said they still consider him the face of their franchise and hope to keep him in New Orleans for years to come.
Weber said he believes the Hornets, if healthy, and with a foundation of Paul and former two-time All-Star forward David West, will return to playoff contention in the Western Conference right away. Paul missed 37 games with multiple injuries last season, when the Hornets missed the playoffs with a 37-45 record.
"We had so many injuries last year, I think it's unfair to look at our last year's performance and say that's how we'll look moving forward,'' Weber said. "You look at those teams who have a lot of cap space, they're no closer to winning a championship than we are. In fact, they're probably farther away because they're in more of a rebuilding process.''