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Chris Paul now aiming to join the Clippers?

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US Presswire

Since the New Orleans Hornets can't find a way to get Chris Paul onto the roster of the Los Angeles Lakers or the New York Knicks, the 26-year-old four-time All-Star's "preference is to be traded … to the Los Angeles Clippers to play alongside Blake Griffin," ESPN reports.

It is now "unlikely (for Paul) to sign an extension with any team that trades for him because the rules in place in the NBA's new labor agreement" make it more lucrative for a player to play out the season and sign in free agency than sign an extension, the site notes. While Paul can opt out of his contract at season's end, the Clippers would like him "to pick up the 2012-13 option in his contract at the time of the trade" in order for them to hand over one of its two best trading chips: Eric Gordon or the unprotected No. 1 pick in the 2012 draft that it received from the Minnesota Timberwolves, ESPN reports.

A source tells ESPN that the Hornets "asked the Clippers for Gordon, Chris Kaman, Eric Bledsoe, Al-Farouq Aminu and at least two future first-round picks in exchange for Paul."

The site also notes that the players "union has hinted at soon pursuing legal action on Paul's behalf if a new trade is not hashed out" since the league put the kibosh on a trade of Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers last Thursday. The union was scheduled to speak with Paul Sunday, the site notes, "to gauge how he wants to go forward and how vigorously he may want to fight the league's ruling."

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