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What Chris Paul's Meeting with New Orleans Hornets Management Means for the Orlando Magic

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Chris Paul Watch continues today with reaction from the All-Star point guard's meeting with New Orleans Hornets management. Paul, whose representatives are currently seeking a trade, and who reportedly listed the Orlando Magic at the top of his list of desired destinations, sat down with Hornets head coach Monty Williams, GM Dell Demps, and President Hugh Weber. Afterward, he released this statement via the Hornets:

"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."

ESPN's Marc Stein came away saying "[the] Hornets will be encouraged by day's events," but others in the media don't quite share his optimism. NetsDaily points out that the last sentence of the statement doesn't mean anything concrete.

Adrian Wojnarowski, meanwhile, said the following in a string of Twitter messages:

Ignore spin out of this Hornets-Chris Paul meeting. He wants out. They don't want to trade him. Nothing's changed, except there's a new GM.

All semantics, but Chris Paul will never directly demand a trade. There's no need; no use. With two years left on deal, he has no leverage.

Ultimately, a big question for Chris Paul is this: Does he want out of New Orleans as badly as his new business associates want him out?

I suppose only Chris Paul and his inner circle know for sure what he's really up to. The Hornets' intentions are much clearer: to keep Paul at nearly any cost; they still won't go over the luxury tax to bring top-grade talent aboard. But Chris Mannix consulted several GMs who made "strong" pushes for Paul, and said "[the] Hornets [are] not at all interested [in trading him]."

As for the Magic? The meeting's outcome doesn't figure to affect their interest in him one way or another. If they pry him from New Orleans, fantastic. If not, they still have one of the league's best teams, from top to bottom, along with an elite coach and an ownership group willing to spend. There are worse predicaments.