Clippers end Chris Paul talks, say Hornets’ price was too high

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The Clippers acknowledged that they talked with the New Orleans Hornets on Sunday night about acquiring all-star point guard Chris Paul, but the L.A. team pulled out of the talks early Monday because the Hornets’ asking price was way too high.


The Clippers wouldn’t say what exactly the Hornets wanted, just that it would have left them bare.

“We entered into discussions with the New Orleans Hornets,” said Neil Olshey, the team’s vice president of basketball operations. “They proposed a trade we felt was too high for our team to accept.”

The Clippers were not going to trade Eric Gordon, one of the players the Hornets badly wanted in the deal.

It also had been reported that the Clippers would have sent the Hornets center Chris Kaman, guard Eric Bledsoe, forward Al-Farouq Aminu and the 2012 first-round draft pick they got from the Minnesota Timberwolves, which has the potential to be a high lottery pick.

Some reports said the Hornets wanted the Clippers to sign center DeAndre Jordan to the offer sheet of $43 million over four years that he got from the Golden State Warriors and make him part of the package for Paul.

Olshey preferred to not talk about what players were discussed in the talks.

Olshey said he and Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro met with the team before Monday’s practice. They acknowledged to the players that there had been talk about trading for Paul but told them the team standing there was the one they planned on having this season.

Paul, who will make $16.3 million this season, had informed the Clippers that he would have exercised his contract option for the 2012-13 season, worth $17.7 million.

The Clippers didn’t want to give away all of their assets going forward and not have a competitive team, so they decided it was in the team’s best interest not to try to acquire Paul, Olshey said.

“The aggregated compensation that we were going to have to convey to them was just too much,” Olshey said. “And it was just going to hamstring our franchise in the long term.”


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-- Broderick Turner