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Paul happy in New Orleans after meeting

NEW ORLEANS » Chris Paul is staying put with the New Orleans Hornets—at least for now.

The Hornets’ star guard did not request a trade yesterday in his meeting with new coach Monty Williams and top team officials, general manager Dell Demps said.

Demps, essentially in his first day on the job since his hiring last week, added that he was confident Paul would still be with New Orleans when the coming season opens.

The meeting took place at an undisclosed downtown location before Demps made his way back to the Hornets’ corporate offices to meet with reporters.

Although Paul did not speak with the media, the team released a statement from him that indicated the three-time All-Star and Olympic gold medalist was encouraged by the Hornets’ recent coaching and front-office overhaul.

"The meeting went well. It was great to get an opportunity to sit down with coach Williams, president (Hugh) Weber and our new general manager, Dell Demps," Paul’s statement said. "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."

Paul has two years remaining before he can opt out of his current contract with the Hornets. However, he said at his charity golf outing earlier this month that he would welcome a trade if the Hornets did not demonstrate a willingness to give him a supporting cast that would make the club good enough to compete with any team in the NBA.

Only days after making that statement, Paul fired his agent and hired Leon Rose, who also represents LeBron James. Paul also agreed to work with James’ LRMR marketing agency.

Paul’s representatives then told the Hornets that Paul was interested in being traded, but the Hornets countered by scheduling a meeting in New Orleans that included Demps, Williams, Weber, Rose and Paul’s brother, C.J. Paul.

"It was a very productive meeting. I was encouraged," Demps said. "It was the first time I met Chris. It was a good opportunity for us to open the lines of communication. Chris had some very good points. … He was energetic. He was open. He was honest. He showed that he wants to win, and that’s what we want to do as well."

T’wolves, Cavs swap guards

The Minnesota Timberwolves have agreed to trade point guard Ramon Sessions and forward Ryan Hollins to the Cleveland Cavaliers for point guards Delonte West and Sebastian Telfair.

The Timberwolves say they will also send Cleveland a future second-round pick in the deal completed last night.

It’s the first significant personnel move the Cavaliers have made since star LeBron James left to sign with the Miami Heat earlier this month.

Sessions and Hollins both signed with the Timberwolves before last season as part of a rebuilding project. But the Timberwolves signed Luke Ridnour and Darko Milicic, making both of them expendable.

T-Mac works out with Bulls

Seven-time All-Star Tracy McGrady has worked out for the Chicago Bulls with hopes of landing with the team he turned down a decade earlier.

McGrady could be a low-risk addition for a reconfigured team coming off back-to-back first-round playoff exits. The Bulls wouldn’t have to pay him much and could refuse to fully guarantee the deal if they make an offer, but there are big questions surrounding his health.

The two-time scoring champion had microfracture surgery on his left knee in February 2009 and appeared in just 30 games last season with New York and Houston, averaging 8.2 points.

Hawks sign Powell

Josh Powell has signed with the Atlanta Hawks as a free agent after spending the last two seasons as a backup with the Los Angeles Lakers.

The 6-foot-9 Powell was signed to provide depth behind Hawks center Al Horford and power forward Josh Smith. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.


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