The Phoenix Suns made the stunning decision to waive Chris Paul this week.
Heading into the offseason, fresh off their disappointing second-round loss at the hands of the Denver Nuggets, the expectation was that Phoenix would make some changes.
Paul’s status with the franchise, given that his contract was only partially guaranteed for next year, also seemed in a perilous place.
That said, if Paul and the Suns were to split, most assumed that they would trade him.
The fact that they will waive him outright sent reverberations throughout the entire NBA on Wednesday.
Now, with Paul a free agent, the obvious question is: where does he go from here?
Four teams seem to be the likeliest landing spots for his services.
The first is obviously the Los Angeles Lakers. They need a reliable point guard, particularly given LeBron James’ feelings towards D’Angelo Russell. And with four teams attempting to pry Russell away from L.A. anyway, Paul could slide in quite seamlessly.
Just this week there were reports linking Paul to the Lakers.
If Paul doesn’t end up in purple and gold, the Boston Celtics are another team to watch. As the Eastern Conference Finals proved, this group needs a reliable playmaker who can create his own shot for when Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown go cold.
Frankly, they also need a proven leader and veteran to corral all the young talent. Paul would fit the bill. He could be precisely what Boston needs to get to that next level.
If not the Celtics, the Philadelphia 76ers are also worth keeping an eye on.
With James Harden being on his way out, the Sixers too need a legitimate playmaker running the offense. Someone who can get the ball in to Joel Embiid and hit shots when asked to. Paul could be that guy.
Impressive stuff from the Miami Heat.https://t.co/psdEEl6xY1
— Game 7 (@game7__) June 7, 2023
Finally, don’t sleep on the Miami Heat.
As they have proven with Kyle Lowry and Kevin Love this year, this group knows how to make the most out of veteran players. Regardless of whether they win a title this season or not, Paul could be good addition for next year.
One way or another, Paul will likely find himself on a championship contender in 2023-24. Which contender will it be? Time will tell.