Chris Paul’s rumored efforts to leave New Orleans may be gaining steam.
The Hornets’ three-time All-Star point guard has accelerated his efforts to leave the team, according to a CBSSports.com report Thursday, citing a person with "direct knowledge" of the situation.
"He wants out," the source said, according to CBSSports.com. "He wants to play with another superstar. He wants to follow LeBron’s model of teaming up with other great players."
Paul’s list of preferred destinations includes the Knicks, Magic and Lakers, the report said.
A person familiar with the meeting says the Hornets have scheduled a face-to-face discussion with Paul on Monday to talk about the team’s plans for the future.
The star guard will sit down with new head coach Monty Williams, new general manager Dell Demps and team president Hugh Weber, the person told The Associated Press on Thursday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team had not made plans to meet with Paul public.
Paul, who cannot opt out of his contract for two years, said recently that he likes New Orleans but will be unhappy playing for the Hornets if they fail to demonstrate a commitment to winning immediately.
The Hornets finished 37-45 and missed the playoffs last season after two consecutive trips to the postseason.
The report comes a day after the Hornets completed a coaching and front-office overhaul that emphasized promise over experience.
A little more than a month after making 38-year-old Monty Williams the youngest coach in the NBA, the Hornets hired Williams’ longtime friend and former NBA teammate, 40-year-old Dell Demps, as general manager Wednesday.
"Beginning with the hiring of head coach Monty Williams, we’ve begun a path of building our basketball operations with people we feel are going to be the best in the business, and Dell Demps certainly fits into that category," Hornets president Hugh Weber said on Wednesday, when the Hornets formally named Demps as the seventh general manager in franchise history.
Demps takes over for Jeff Bower, who stepped down last week after spending nearly 15 years with the club in various capacities, the past five as general manager.
The only personnel move the Hornets have made this offseason is resigning reserve center Aaron Gray.
The Hornets selected Paul — who played his college basketball at Wake Forest — with the fourth overall pick in the 2005 draft. He quickly grew into one of the most dynamic players in the league, winning the Rookie of the Year award in 2006 and making the All-Star team in three straight years from 2008-10.