The Frontrunners to Land Chris Paul After Being Waived at Phoenix

There are plenty of teams in need of a veteran guard like Chris Paul, so let’s explore the most likely landing spots for the 38-year-old.

B/R’s Chris Haynes dropped the bombshell on Wednesday that Paul had been waived.

However, Arizona Sports Kellan Olson has since reported, “I can confirm from the team that Paul has not been waived and, per team sources.”

The franchise are reportedly exploring a number of options for the veteran guard which include waiving, stretching and trading Paul.

“Paul continues to want to return to the Suns and partner with his close friend Devin Booker and Kevin Durant, sources said. Nevertheless, Paul and his representatives want the organization to make a quicker decision on his future so that he can proceed out into free agency if indeed the Suns ultimately waive him, sources said,” ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports.

One thing is for sure, Chris Paul’s future in Phoenix is very uncertain, so let’s look at some viable options.

Los Angeles Lakers

Lakers would be at the top of the list for a number of reasons.

Paul actually lives in Los Angeles, so being able to stay with his family full-time would be a huge bonus surely.

The Lakers also don’t have too many players committed for next season as yet, as Olson explains.

“Along with Anthony Davis as the other star, Los Angeles has two key young players entering restricted free agency in Rui Hachimura and Austin Reaves,” Olson writes. “In addition, Jarred Vanderbilt is still under contract next year, as is Mo Bamba.

“Outside of that, there’s hardly any other guaranteed money around, so L.A. has the versatility to offer Paul a decent-sized contract beyond the minimum.”

B/R’s Dan Favale also agrees that Paul in purple and gold just makes sense.

“CP3’s close ties with LeBron James are part of the equation,” Favale said. “More than that, the Lakers desperately need another offensive organizer. They’d likely prefer said floor general take the form of someone younger than 38, but Paul can still effectively steer an offense even if he doesn’t have the same off-the-dribble shiftiness.

“There’s no beating Paul’s price tag to boot. He already has $15.8 million coming his way. The Lakers won’t need to open up cap space, cobble together complicated sign-and-trades or even necessarily get rid of Russell to land him. L.A. cannot say the same for Kyrie Irving pipe dreams.”

Los Angeles Clippers

Paul does have a home in LA, so if the Lakers don’t work out the Clippers could be a good backup option.

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However, joining the Clippers in his twilight years and betting your championship hopes on the health of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George seems like a big risk.

As well, their payroll is already pushing the second luxury-tax apron, so other suitors could offer the 12-time All-Star more money for his services.

“Paul has the IQ, vision and supervisory chops to navigate staggered minutes,” Favale said. “Playing in tandem with Leonard and George would require functional concessions—most notably spending even more time off the ball and actually launching more spot-up threes. That’s not unworkable.”

Milwaukee Bucks

If Paul really does want to win a chip before he retires, the Bucks are probably his best bet.

Defense is where Paul lacks but with the league’s best defenders around him, it’s not something he will need to improve on much.

Paul also can fill the gaps in what is already a very solid team, that just need something extra on offense.

“Paul’s arrival shouldn’t affect Milwaukee’s current point guard Jrue Holiday at all,” Clutch’s Mike Cruz says. “Holiday has played the two-guard position and is more-than-capable of playing off the ball as well. In addition, it’s hard not to imagine just how terrific a two-man game between CP3 and The Greek Freak would look like. Paul’s playmaking magic and Antetokounmpo’s unstoppable finishing might just be the tandem the rest of the NBA doesn’t want to see.”

Ironically, the Bucks destroyed Paul’s hopes of winning a championship when he was on the cusp in 2021. If you can’t beat them, join them.

Boston Celtics

Like the Bucks, the Celtics have gone so close to winning a championship in recent years but have fallen short.

It is clear Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown can’t get it done alone and it may be time to split the pair up before they take up a huge amount of the franchise’s salary.

“CP3 would be the perfect addition for an offense that, despite ranking third in half-court efficiency, too often descended into turbulence,” Favale said.

He could complement Al Horford and Robert Williams at the center role well and certainly can add some much-needed spark to an inconsistent lineup.

“The scary thing about Paul’s ability to boost rebuilding teams in the past like Oklahoma City and Phoenix is he could do that for a contender as well,” Olson said. “Boston’s a perfect match for that.”