Chris Paul and the L.A. Clippers had another disappointing finish to their season. On Sunday, April 30th, the Clippers lost game 7 to the Utah Jazz in the opening round of the playoffs. At almost 32 years old, Chris Paul still has never made it to the Conference Finals. This offseason he has the chance to get out of L.A. if that’s what he wants to do. At this point in his career, it would be a good idea for him to do so.
Chris Paul has been the leader of the Clippers since he arrived in 2011. He’s lead the Clippers to the playoffs every year, but they’ve never had the success he’s been looking for. Now is the perfect time for Chris Paul to find the team who can help him win a championship. It just hasn’t worked with Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, and it’s time for him to move on. There are numerous teams who would love to have the services of Chris Paul, but if he leaves L.A. he’ll be looking to sign with a true contender.
As I thought about potential landing spots for Chris Paul, I narrowed it down to 4 teams. I’ve chosen 2 Eastern Conference and 2 Western Conference teams. I chose these teams based on what position each team needs, as well as what star players are already on each roster. The teams are in order of the likelihood Chris Paul signs there.
1. New Orleans Pelicans: Wouldn’t we all love to see a New Orleans reunion with Chris Paul? This time around things would be much different. New Orleans has two of the leagues best big men in Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins. What the Pelicans need is a true point guard and someone who can shoot from anywhere on the floor. Chris Paul could give them that. The addition of Chris Paul would instantly make New Orleans a contender in the Western Conference. It would be hard for Chris Paul to turn away from this perfect situation. If he did sign here, it might take a little while to figure out how to play with Davis and Cousins, but I think they’d get the hang of things pretty quick. Davis and Cousins are huge upgrades over Griffin and Jordan. Both of the Pelicans big men can score. With Chris Paul running the show, it would really open things up for Davis and Cousins on the offensive end. The 2017-18 NBA season would be very exciting to watch if this move happens.
2. San Antonio Spurs: As long as the San Antonio Spurs are being coached by Gregg Popovich and have Kawhi Leonard leading the team, they’ll be at the top of the Western Conference every year. Yes, the Spurs already have Tony Parker, but Popovich can get creative. He figured out how to use Aldridge and Duncan together. If Chris Paul’s destination is determined by wanting to win a championship alone, San Antonio is his best option. The biggest problem with this move would be the money. Will the Spurs have enough money to sign Chris Paul? Would he be willing to take a significant pay cut to win a championship? It’s difficult to answer these questions now, as the Spurs are still in the playoffs and aren’t focusing on what they’re going to do next year. Getting Chris Paul would be a win for both parties, and maybe a few more losses for the Warriors.
3. Chicago Bulls: Chicago may not be the best option if Chris Paul wants to win a championship, but it would allow him to play with Dwayne Wade, who is one of his close friends. Getting Chris Paul would significantly upgrade a Bulls team that was looking pretty good in the playoffs until they lost Rondo. Going from Rondo to Paul would help this team a lot. Rondo can’t shoot, which means nobody is afraid of him. Chris Paul on the other hand can shoot. He would space the floor for star teammates Jimmy Butler and Dwayne Wade. It would also be helpful for Paul to play with 3 time NBA champion Dwayne Wade, because he knows how to win. Going to the Eastern Conference may be a better idea for Chris Paul if he wants a chance at a championship. It’s a much easier road to the Finals, at least until you play LeBron James and the Cavs.
4. Milwaukee Bucks: This is a team with a lot of young talent that’s continuing to get better. A Chris Paul, Giannis Antetokounmpo combo? Sounds pretty good to me. Antetokounmpo is an exciting young player who has gotten better and better every year of his career. I expect him to once again make improvements going into next season. Having another superstar like Chris Paul would help Giannis take his game to a whole new level. This team would have no problems getting to the playoffs. Antetokounmpo is one of the few, if not the only player in the Eastern Conference who could slow down LeBron James. He won’t take him out the game, but he could slow him down. I think a Bucks team with Antetokounmpo and Paul would have a real shot at taking out the Cavs.
It’s possible Chris Paul won’t leave the Clippers this offseason, but he’ll have to at least give it some thought. He still has a few good years left in him, but he’s getting closer to retirement and still hasn’t won a championship. If Chris Paul wants to win, these 4 teams would be good places for him to go, especially New Orleans and San Antonio.
Which team do you think Chris Paul is a perfect fit for? Comment below!