All of the chatter about Boston's interest in Chris Paul is a moot point because the All-Star point guard will not sign a long-term contract extension with the Celtics, according to a person close to the situation.
Paul, who will become a free agent after the coming season, essentially has veto power over any trade because no team will give up valuable assets for him without assurance that it can sign him for the next several years.
Boston would love to acquire Paul for a package built around point guard Rajon Rondo, and has been seeking a third trading partner to sweeten an offer to New Orleans. But Paul's reluctance to commit to Boston long-term should quickly put an end to the scenario.
While Boston is still an elite team, the Celtics' age -- Kevin Garnett, who is 35, and Ray Allen, 36, are in the final years of their contracts -- means they will be rebuilding next season. It's a major reason why Paul will not commit to them for the future.
There also has been speculation for the past few years that Paul would like to join Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony in New York, creating a Knicks super-team in the way the Miami Heat have been formed.
Senior writer Chris Broussard covers the NBA for ESPN The Magazine.