Chris Paul is currently stuck in Oklahoma City with seemingly no escape. There are, however, a few teams that could benefit greatly from CP3.
Chris Paul is being widely viewed as untradeable this season. He’s 34 years old. He doesn’t exactly have glowing reviews from former teammates. Oh, and he’s still owed more than $127 million over the next three years.
The problem is, as he showed us last night against Chicago, Chris Paul is still very, very good. CP3 helped the Thunder overcome a 26 point deficit as he scored 19 points in the 4th quarter.
Yes, most teams in the NBA should throw their phones out of the window if Thunder GM Sam Presti calls them about a Chris Paul trade. But there are a few teams out there who could make major leaps by acquiring the nine-time all-star.
The Magic are on the cusp of shedding their reputation as a perennially bad team. Their front office deserves very little credit for that. That’s because most of Orlando’s talent is jammed into their front-court. Between talented players like Aaron Gordon, Jonathan Isaac, Nikola Vucevic, and Mo Bamba, Orlando’s big men are often shoved into the wrong position to thrive.
Meanwhile, they have one of the worst point guard rotations in the league. Markelle Fultz may one day become a solid starter but for now he’s just a raw talent who hasn’t put it together. DJ Augustin is a solid player but he’s at his best coming off the bench.
Chris Paul would immediately catapult the Magic to the next level. He’d instantly be their best point guard since Penny Hardaway, whose last good season was almost 25 years ago. Yes, giving up Gordon would sting, but he’s simply not working out in Orlando. This trade would free up front-court space for Isaac to thrive. The Magic would get a first round pick in return and the Thunder would get a potential cornerstone for the future in Gordon.
Can you smell that? That’s the Mike Conley experiment burning to the ground. Since coming to Utah over the summer, Conley has been a ghost. He’s shooting 36% from the field and his numbers have dropped dramatically across the board from last season. If Conley has fallen off the age cliff, is he really the better player to have than Chris Paul?
The answer is no. Chris Paul is a much better player than Conley this season, and in all seasons prior. Yes, Paul has an extra year on his contract and makes more money, but Conley is still making $30-plus million the next two seasons. That is far too much for someone giving you almost nothing.
Paul would give the Jazz elite playmaking and a much better shot-making ability. As scary as Utah looked after their summer moves, they would be even scarier if Chris Paul took over for Conley.
Dallas already has one of the top young duos in the league, why not go all-in right now? Luka Doncic isn’t due for a raise until Chris Paul’s contract expires. Sure, they’d be putting their team chemistry in the hands of a potentially disgruntled point guard, but if it works, the Mavericks would have a legitimate big three.
They’re already third in the West and they’re getting very little from the trio that they’d be sending to Oklahoma City. Owner Mark Cuban is known to gamble and Chris Paul net a big payoff.
This article was edited by Sam Bourgi.
Last modified: January 22, 2020 11:40 PM UTC