I am going to make this easy on the Hornets, follow the same game plan as the Nuggets.
Trade Chris Paul and get as much as you can in the process. It is obvious that he has zero interest in returning to New Orleans.
Unless there is a franchise tag in the new CBA, no need to even pretend. Carmelo was awful at pretending, plus it puts a strain on the fan base and the players.
If you can get a great deal in summer take it.
Paul wants to play with the Knicks, but they sent half their roster to the Nuggets, so that might not be possible.
It isn’t right that players who are still under contract have such power, but you have to live in reality and not the Matrix. Get the best deal you can and move on.