NBA: Paulís camp optimistic about deal
By Brett Martel
WESTWEGO, La. ó Chris Paul left the New Orleans Hornets training center on Wednesday afternoon without a new contract extension in place, but his agent remained optimistic the deal would be completed without much trouble ó even if it took longer than anticipated.
iWe felt like it went well … and weíll get it wrapped up sometime soon,î said Lance Young, senior director of the sports management and marketing company Octagon, which represents Paul.
Young flew into New Orleans on Wednesday morning and spent the day with Paul and Hornets general manager Jeff Bower. Paul left abruptly Wednesday afternoon without making any comment.
Young emerged from Bowerís office a couple hours later.
iWeíre all on the same page, so weíll be able to get it worked out,î Young said as he walked to his vehicle. iI donít think weíre in any real rush to get it done.î
Young said he was unsure whether he would return to Bowerís office at the Alario Center on Thursday.
Paul is trying to decide between a four-year deal worth $68 million or a five-year extension worth $87 million. The extension would go into effect after next season, the last season covered by the contract Paul signed as a rookie in the summer of 2005.
Last season, Paul led the NBA with averages of 11.6 assists and 2.7 steals. He was the Hornetsí second-leading scorer, averaging 21.1 points per game in helping the Hornets reach a franchise-record 56 regular season victories.
Paulís performance and efforts to aid New Orleansí recovery from Hurricane Katrina might have saved pro basketball in a city that was in danger of losing its pro teams after the devastating storm struck in August 2005.