Guard's interest in trade surprises club

NEW ORLEANS -- The New Orleans Hornets have no intention of
trading point guard Baron Davis, whose agent has advised him to
consider a trade request, the team said Friday.

Agent Todd Ramasar said late Thursday that he had advised Davis
to explore other options besides the Hornets as he considers his
future in the NBA.

But in a statement, the team said Davis would not be traded and
the organization was surprised by the report because Davis "had
been very positive towards the Hornets organization" and its new
coach and general manager.

The team said general manager Allen Bristow and owner George
Shinn planned to meet with Davis "as soon as possible to make sure
that they honor their commitment to doing everything possible to
put the best team on the floor to start the 2004-5 season."

In a statement released by his publicist Thursday, Davis said he
trusted his agent.

"He has my interest at heart. And I'm prepared for anything at
this point. Bottom line, I love the city of New Orleans and the
community. I'm just focused to play well in the NBA and I'm getting
ready for the season," Davis said.

"It's just a lot of burden to put on a point guard to be so
productive," Ramasar said.

In 2001, Davis signed a six-year, $84 million contract

Bristow said that during a talk last week, Ramasar had expressed
disappointment with the direction the team has taken.

Ramasar said Davis wasn't pleased by what the Hornets did in
free agency. They signed free agents Rodney Rogers and Chris Andersen, but were unsuccessful on attempts to land proven shooting
guards Morris Peterson and Stephen Jackson.

Peterson signed a three-year, $15 million offer sheet with the
Hornets but the Toronto Raptors matched it.

The Hornets offered a six-year deal, worth about $36 million, to
Jackson, but he re-signed with the Atlanta Hawks and then was
traded to the Indiana Pacers.

With training camp set to begin next month, the Hornets have not
made any major trades.

After the Hornets lost to the Miami Heat in the first round of
the playoffs, Hornets owner George Shinn fired Coach Tim Floyd
after one season and hired Byron Scott, who had led the New Jersey Nets to two consecutive berths in the NBA Finals in 2002 and 2003.

The Hornets drafted high school player J.R. Smith in the first
round. Smith played well in the summer league play at Long Beach, Calif.

"I suggested that it may be in Byron's best interest to move on
with his career," Ramasar said. "It's nothing against the city of
New Orleans or nothing against the organization, it's just what is
in Baron's best interest."

Davis averaged a career-high 22.9 points per game last season and was an All-Star selection.