The Wizards traded Bradley Beal to the Suns for Chris Paul, Landry Shamet, multiple second-round picks and pick swaps on Sunday but Washington probably won’t retain Paul as they look to rebuild.
“Chris Paul made almost $10 million in extra guaranteed salary via this trade and, if waived by Washington, can choose his next team … albeit with Phoenix ineligible to re-sign him,” NBA Insider Marc Stein said on Twitter.
There are three other likely landing spots for the veteran, so let’s review.
LOS ANGELES LAKERS
The Lakers and the Wizards have good trade history so its quite possible Paul could team up with his good friend LeBron James this upcoming season.
A deal with the purple and gold would make sense for the franchise financially and Paul’s family are already living in LA.
“The Lakers could sign CP3 on a veteran’s minimum contract, maintaining flexibility to retain key restricted free agents Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura,” NBA writer Evan Sidery said.
Many would assume that gaining CP3 would mean losing D’Angelo Russell but that may not necessarily be the case, according to Lakers Insider Jovan Buha.
“Another option the Lakers have discussed is signing Paul and retaining D’Angelo Russell to truly solidify their point guard position, according to those sources,” Buha said recently.
“Paul is the type of maestro who could alleviate some of the offensive pressure on James to generate high-percentage looks late in games,” Buha continued. “Even with Paul nearing 40, it’s easy to envision the rhythm of a Paul-Davis pick-and-roll after seeing it for so many years in New Orleans, Los Angeles, Houston, Oklahoma City and Phoenix.”
LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS
Paul already spent six seasons with the Clippers from 2011-2017, where the franchise reached the postseason in each season, so why not run it back?
As well, Paul was named an NBA All-Star in five of his six seasons with the Clippers and helped them reach the Western Conference Semifinals three times.
The Clippers are set to welcome him back, according to Insider Chris Haynes.
“The Washington Wizards are likely to reroute Chris Paul in a trade and the Los Angeles Clippers are expected to pursue a reunion with the future Hall of Famer…,” Haynes tweeted.
Paul’s game has somewhat naturally deteriorated with age since he was last a Clipper but having a healthy Paul, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George on the floor together would be lethal.
Healthy is the key word of course.
Miami were interested in landing Beal (but he’s obviously already been traded) so now the franchise is in search of something more, according to Heat Beat reporter Ira Winderman.
“Asked about the Heat’s approach with Beal, a party familiar with the talks on Sunday told the South Florida Sun Sentinel to “think bigger,”” Winderman wrote.
Could bigger mean a 12-time All Star, 11-time All-NBAer and 18-season veteran in Paul?
Miami were interested in signing Paul back in 2019 before the Rockets traded him to OKC so Pat Riley may still have interest in the 38-year-old.
Paul may opt to go there because they did reach the Finals lats season and with another key piece added, who’s to say they can’t do it again. Paul has always said he wants to win a chip before retiring.
Playing CP3 alongside Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo would be fascinating to watch.