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Who Else is Tired of the Constantly Changing Chris Paul Story?

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Sorry, but I can't resist a bit of snark right now. In the umpteenth version of the same story they've written over and over, Marc Stein and Chris Broussard now have Chris Paul unlikely to be traded by training camp tomorrow.

At some level, it's all well and good that there are changes. It's a fast-moving story, and if things change from day-to-day, those changes need to be reported on. But it seems pretty likely at this point that many of these aren't changes at all: just retractions of misinformation that was erroneously included in earlier reports. Did Golden State remove Stephen Curry from the trade talks? Or was he never included to begin with? Seems like the latter. The Hornets side of the discussion (and anyone else with an interest in the deal getting done) might have implied that Curry was in the deal, but that probably was never the case. Ditto for Eric Gordon of the Los Angeles Clippers.

What's even more surprising is that even in this latest post, intended to clarify the current situation, Stein and Broussard are anything but clear. Is it my imagination, or does this story contradict a statement in paragraph two with a different statement in paragraph three?

The Golden State Warriors have effectively withdrawn from the Paul sweepstakes by stressing to the Hornets that they simply won't include star guard Stephen Curry in any deal with New Orleans.

That's the second sentence of the post. Then after one intervening sentence, we are presented with this:

...one source close to the process told ESPN.com that talks between Golden State and New Orleans have gone "dormant" because of the Warriors' refusal to make Curry part of the deal without an assurance from Paul that he will stay beyond this season as opposed to bolting as a free agent in July 2012.

Those are two different statements, and the difference is really, really important. First they say that Curry won't be in any deal with New Orleans, then they say that Curry's inclusion is dependent on an assurance from Paul that he'll stay longer than a season. But last I checked, "any deal with New Orleans" would include deals in which Paul signs an extension or otherwise commits to staying. So the two statements are simply incompatible.

Which would be fine - after all, two different sources might have two different versions of the story - if the authors put some context around the contradiction. Instead the story completely ignores the incongruity of the statements and moves on to the next topic, leaving the reader with no idea which version of the situation to believe.

Maybe it's time to take a step back and see what actually happens folks. If you can't keep the story straight from one paragraph to the next, we've got a problem.