Hornets general manager Dell Demps insinuated that his team would identify key players this offseason to surround Chris Paul with. As his current contract stands, Paul will be able to opt out at the end of next season. Demps and the Hornets want Paul around long-term. The best chance of that happening is surrounding him with key pieces. Here is more from John Reid of the Times Picayune and nola.com, followed by more blogging from Scott.

GM Dell Demps said the bar has been set. To raise it, he wants to improve the talent around star point guard Chris Paul.

Despite the prospect of a labor uncertainty if a new collective bargaining is not approved by June 30, and not having a first-round draft pick in next month’s NBA draft, the Hornets are likely to pursue improvement through trades and free agency.

Hornets plan to continue building around CP3

Demps has displayed many talents as the Hornets GM in the 10 months he's been on the job. One such talent is his aggressive approach. Demps has received plenty of praise, but his fate will ultimately be tied to Chris Paul's. His most important, and perhaps toughest job as Hornets GM, will be surrounding Paul with enough talent to convince Chris to stay in the Crescent City. Demps has set a high bar for himself after year one. Let's see if he can raise it.