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Top Landing Spots For Chris Paul

By Jeff Stinger

Twelve-time NBA All-Star guard Chris Paul will be waived by the Phoenix Suns after three seasons. He is the first player to depart the team since Monty Williams’ exit. The ‘Point God’ continues the search for a first NBA title as he pushes 39 years of age. Paul also finished the season with a career-low 13.9 points, 8.9 assists, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.5 steals per game. Nevertheless, he would likely be one of the more prominent names to join the free agency list. With this in mind, what are the top landing spots for Chris Paul right now?

Chris Paul’s possible landing spots

Phoenix returned to playoff contention in 2020-21 after missing the postseason campaigns for a decade. They reached the NBA Finals but eventually lost to the Milwaukee Bucks in six games. However, the team broke franchise records with 64 wins in the same year but was eliminated in the second round in each of the last two seasons.

The 2022-23 Western Conference fourth seed looks to keep their championship hopes alive with Kevin Durant and Devin Booker at the help. But, upper management felt as if more changes were needed to achieve their ultimate goal, which includes the recent sacking of Monty Williams. The move came to fruition after several months of speculation around Paul and his future with the Suns. They reportedly showed interest in filling the point guard spot with Kyrie Irving before, during, and even at the end of the trade deadline.

Of course, letting go of Chris Paul attracts several teams with his veteran talent.

LA Lakers and LeBron James Ties

Chris Paul has been around the NBA for 18 seasons. His career stats feature 17.9 points, 9.5 assists, 4.5 rebounds, and 2.1 steals per game. We’ve seen him suit up for several teams throughout his time, including the New Orleans Hornets, Los Angeles Clippers, Houston Rockets, Oklahoma City Thunder, and the Phoenix Suns.

Above all else, a move to the Los Angeles Lakers springs to mind. CP3’s relationship with LeBron James plays a huge part here. More than that, the franchise desperately needs a proper offensive floor general. Although a younger guard should be a top priority, Paul can still effectively control the floor even if he doesn’t have the same pace he had a decade ago.

Any help the Lakers can offer LeBron James should not be overlooked. D’Angelo Russell, another free agent, was only an apparition of his past self during the playoffs. More than that, Anthony Davis’ health means James still has to shoulder primary shot-creation responsibilities for himself and the rest of the crew.

A Trip Back to the Eastern Conference

Boston’s recent Conference Finals collapse was heavily influenced by the lack of a quality offensive orchestrator. Having Chris Paul can easily up their level up a notch.

Jason Tatum is a great basketball player and improved as a passer in recent years. But, that’s not his prime role. The same goes for Derrick White, Marcus Smart, and Malcolm Brogdon. Meanwhile, Jaylen Brown’s assist-to-turnover ratio hit the team hard during the 2023 NBA Playoffs.

That said, CP3 would be the ideal piece to fill in those gaps. A team that’s too reliant on the three-ball as much as the Celtics need more variety. They are too easily swayed away from their actual strengths and suffer from poor ball protection when shots aren’t falling or the pace drops. Boston would have to work around leadership concerns should CP3 slot in. His ball-dominant nature can do more harm than good. Despite that, all of the Celts’ core players do well off the ball and can complement Paul’s playing style to deliver better results.

The biggest possible hurdle in this scenario is meeting Chris Paul’s compensation. Boston already has concerns about Grant Williams’ salary in restricted free agency. That shouldn’t rule them out of the CP3 race, but they can offer a more enticing package, Boston can easily become an ideal landing spot for the veteran guard.

Wildcard Pick

Adding more firepower to the already-stacked Milwaukee Bucks lineup might sound outrageous. But, there’s still room for improvement when looking at their current roster. The team’s half-court offense could use additional firepower and a primary playmaker who can space out the floor. Paul ticks that box. His familiarity with half-court plays would add another dimension to Milwaukee’s system.

Welcoming Chris Paul is worth the risk at this point. If he can join the franchise at a cut-rate, they will likely encounter concerns if both Lopez and Middleton. Nevertheless, if they can overcome such issues, having Paul at their disposal can provide a clearer path to another NBA Finals appearance.

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