NBA Rumors: Chris Paul To Lakers, Clippers or Heat?
Is Chris Paul going to end up with the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers or Miami Heat by the end of next season?
That is the question on the minds of NBA fans all over the league.
Paul, 34, was traded from the Houston Rockets to the Oklahoma City Thunder in a deal centered around Russell Westbrook.
In addition to getting Paul, OKC also received first round picks in 2024 and 2026, as well as pick swaps in 2021 and 2025.
Although Paul is obviously still a very talented player at this stage in his career, the Thunder is a young team looking to rebuild.
They don’t have any need for a veteran point guard who has three years and $124 million remaining on his contract.
Instead, they figure to flip him to a contending squad in the Western Conference, or at least a solid team in the Eastern Conference.
According to multiple reports, Miami is very interested in making something happen with Paul after the year begins.
Shams Charania of The Athletic reports that the Heat “retain a level of interest” in bringing him in.
Inside Pass with NBA Insider @ShamsCharania, pre-training camp edition: Nets unlikely to sign Carmelo Anthony, Heat have level of interest in Chris Paul and more.
Read here: https://t.co/oMdlivPtXS
— The Athletic NBA (@TheAthleticNBA) September 23, 2019
Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel similarly indicated that there are multiple deals that would make sense for Miami.
“That said, there are deals that could be done with the Heat to ease the Thunder’s position against the cap, deals that assuredly would start with Goran Dragic’s expiring contract,” he noted
“Chris Paul, his uneven time in Houston aside, is still elite. And, yes, he would make this season’s Heat better (plus, he wants to be here).
“But the Heat are in a delicate spot where they have to weigh both the present and the future.”
After signing Jimmy Butler this summer, Miami clearly needs a second star to pair with him in order to make some noise in the East.
Even a squad boasting Butler and Paul is unlikely to be able to defeat the class of the conference like the Toronto Raptors, Milwaukee Bucks, Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers – but they could still do a lot more together than apart.
If not Miami, Paul to the Lakers could also make a lot of sense.
Los Angeles’ plan at point guard for now is to trot LeBron James out to fill the position. At his age and at this point in his career, James should be shouldering less of the load, not more.
James consistently playing the point for the Lakers for the duration of 82 games is unrealistic.
They need a real point guard – and Paul could fit that hole.
If not the Lakers, Paul could also make a lot of sense for the Clippers.
While the team obviously signed Pat Beverley to a lucrative deal with the idea that he would be their point guard, he and Paul bring very different skills to the table.
And although Paul is nowhere near the defender that Beverley is, Beverley — even at this stage in both their careers — is nowhere near the offensive player.
When the game slows down in the postseason Los Angeles will need help moving the offense around, and there are few better floor generals in the sport than Paul.
Where will Paul ultimately end up?
The smart money says Miami, but don’t sleep on the two LA teams as possible destinations.