Chris Paul (right) and Carmelo Anthony at the Duke-Michigan State game in November. (MIKE SEGAR / Reuters)

Hornets General Manager Dell Demps has had preliminary discussions with the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, Golden State Warriors, Dallas Mavericks, Boston Celtics, New York Knicks and Orlando Magic. More teams could enter the bidding, the report stated. Paul cannot be traded before Friday.

ESPN reports that the Hornets primarily are interested in the Warriors’ Stephen Curry and the Clippers’ Eric Gordon. Both are reluctant trade partners with Paul unwilling to commit to staying after this season.

“Right now this is the hot topic, and this is something every player goes through when he’s in the last year of his deal,’’ Jarrett Jack told the Times-Picayune. “When [Oklahoma City Thunder forward] Kevin Durant is in the last year of his deal and he hasn’t signed an extension yet, he’s going to go through it. If [Bulls point guard] Derrick Rose doesn’t sign an early extension, he’s going to go through it.

“All of these top-caliber players are going to go through it, it’s the end of their contract. When they feel it’s necessary to sign an extension or play it out through free agency or whatever, that’s the process you go through.”