Chris Paul Is Not Yet Refusing to Ever Play for Michael Jordan’s Charlotte Bobcats

The Charlotte Bobcats are getting more and more exciting, in the realm of total imagination. As if the news that team owner Michael Jordan had suited up for a practice—but was not at all making a comeback—wasn’t enough, now the Associated Press reports that New Orleans Hornets superstar point guard Chris Paul has not ruled out the possibility of thinking about considering joining the Bobcats when he becomes eligible for free agency in 2012*:

“It would definitely be something to think about,” the New Orleans guard said Tuesday.

The Bobcats are an NBA team, albeit one that no one pays any attention to, and like all other NBA teams, they are entitled to sign free agents if the free agents are willing and the team has room under its salary cap. Therefore it is not impossible that a free agent would agree to play for Charlotte. Chris Paul could become a free agent. If he does, he would think about which NBA team to sign with.

And if a free agent were to sign with Charlotte, that free agent would be playing basketball for a team owned by Michael Jordan, a very famous former basketball player. Playing basketball is an experience that the player and the owner would have in common. Could that conceivably be a reason, the AP asks, for a free agent to become a Bobcat?

“I think guys do and will want to play for MJ,” Paul said. “Who better to learn from?”

Guys , he said. Chris Paul is a guy. 

Paul has an existing relationship with Michael Jordan, the AP reports, because he is an endorser of Nike’s Jordan Brand shoes and clothing. Other Jordan Brand endorsers include Dwyane Wade , who chose to stay with the Miami Heat when he became a free agent this past summer, and Carmelo Anthony , who dealt with his own impending free agency this season by forcing a trade to the New York Knicks and signing a contract extension in New York.

Another Jordan Brand endorser is Gerald Wallace , who played for the Bobcats this year until Michael Jordan—in his role as team owner, not as Nike brand—traded him away to reduce the team’s payroll. Wallace described the trade as ” a stab in the back ” by management.

The AP also notes that Paul is a native of North Carolina, the state where the Bobcats play, and that the Bobcats had an opportunity to draft him out of in 2005, but chose not to.

“I thought about it then when I got drafted,” Paul said of the potential of playing pro ball in his home state. “But that feels like that was so long ago now.”

Well! Strenuously noncommittal isn’t quite the same thing as outright negative, is it? OK, pretty close, maybe. But by Bobcats (and AP) standards, it’s almost as good as a yes.

[*Correction: Because I am old and “Charlotte Hornets” is wired into my brain, this sentence originally said “Hornets” instead of “Bobcats.”]