The Los Angeles Clippers fell short (again) in the playoffs, losing to the Utah Jazz in seven games. After losing time and time again, it appears Chris Paul is headed out of Los Angeles, with a player option on his contract. For a top-five point guard in this league, and nine time All-Star, I’d say there are plenty of options:
The San Antonio Spurs
are a very liable option for Paul. With Kawhi at the three, and LaMarcus at the four, a true point guard would all but win the championship for them. Tony Parker’s time in San Antonio is almost over, and Patty Mills has been picking up the slack.
Putting Chris Paul into this winning system under the coaching of Greg Popovich? Sounds like a Finals bound team to me. Should Patty Mills leave in free agency, they’ll be one point guard short. Better call Paul.
For a franchise based on prominence, championships are always the goal. It’s debatable, but I don’t think anyone in this league wants to win more than Chris Paul. Mutual interest in a championship may bring these two sides together.
Homecoming, the New Orleans Pelicans
I know, I know, but I had to. It’s unlikely Paul would return to New Orleans where he was drafted, but let’s take a second. Jrue Holiday may exit in free agency, leaving a vacant spot in both salary and the starting lineup for a point guard.
New Orleans isn’t necessarily known for winning, but if Chris thinks his addition would ensure that, why not? Paul, Davis, Cousins. Who honestly thinks that team wouldn’t make the playoffs? Throw a few free agents in the following off-season. I’d certainly reserve a seat on the bandwagon.
The Los Angeles Clippers?
No one’s ruling out the possibility of him resigning with Los Angeles. But with Griffin and likely Redick on their way out, it’s plausible. If Chris Paul is still on the championship hunt, it will take a lot to bring him back to the Clippers next season.
Now, for fun:
Banana Boat? The Chicago Bulls
For years, LeBron, Carmelo, Dwyane Wade, and Paul have talked about playing together for a championship. Could this be time, with both Wade and Paul entering free agency?
It’s absolutely absurd, but even saying he’ll leave the Clippers is (a little). Here’s how something like this would go down.
- The Chicago Bulls send Rajon Rondo, Nikola Mirotic, and Cameron Payne(?)/draft picks in exchange for Carmelo Anthony.
- Chris Paul signs with the Chicago Bulls on a two-year/$65-million contract.
- In turn, Dwyane Wade exercises his player option, and remains on the team for the 2017-2018 season.
- Following next season, LeBron James clears free agency, and signs with the Chicago Bulls.
This of course would require the Bulls signing Mirotic’ qualifying offer, and Paul being okay with not signing a max-deal. Of course I’m not sure what the numbers would look like realistically, I just compared those numbers to Durant, Wade, and Rondo’s recent deals. I doubt LeBron will ever leave Cleveland again, but Carmelo being traded to Chicago? Reasonable. Would his arrival hold Wade steady? Absolutely.
I’m sure there’s a lot more moving pieces to this, but in a perfect world, that’s how it would work. Banana Boat isn’t too far away from reality, would just take a lot of compromise. (Also Fred Hoiberg would not be in that picture, ideally).
Banana Boat, assemble.
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