Featured Image Credit: Creator: Jon Shapley | Credit: Staff photographer Copyright: © 2019 Houston Chronicle
Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Chris Paul shined in this year’s postseason, and almost led his team to the Western Conference semifinals. The Thunder managed to go seven games with the Houston Rockets but fell just short. Oklahoma City decided to part ways with head coach Billy Donovan and could be on the verge of a blowing everything up.
Paul, 35, is arguably one of the best point guards in the 21st century. He was selected with the 4th overall pick in 2005 draft by the New Orleans Hornets. Paul has been named an all-star 10 out of the 15 seasons he has played. The guard has been named to the All-NBA First Team four times, and the Second Team three times. He has also been named to an All-Defensive Team 9 times.
The Rockets defeated the Thunder and things didn’t look good for Oklahoma City. Billy Donovan proceeds to leave and Chris Paul released a video on Twitter. The superstar point guard thanked the Thunder organization, and he sounded like he was thinking about a future elsewhere. Since the video went public, there has been commotion about Paul exiting Oklahoma City. If Chris Paul wants to move on, the Thunder will have to trade him. Who are the teams that could possibly be interested in Paul?
Milwaukee could be looking for a third star to pair up with Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kris Middleton. Paul can be the perfect piece to get the Bucks over the hump in the playoffs. If a deal between Milwaukee and Oklahoma City happens look for the Bucks to send at least Eric Bledsoe and Brook Lopez. Ersan Ilyasova or George Hill could also be apart of a deal for Paul. Draft picks will also be included in any trade for the all-star point guard. Paul’s $41.3 million cap hit could be a problem for a lot of teams to make a push, but the Bucks should be able to offer a couple of different deals for Paul.
Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers are the Western Conference’s first-seed and are led by superstars LeBron James and Anthony Davis. LeBron plays point guard a decent amount of time for the Lakers, but is a natural born forward. Starting point guard Avery Bradley decided to opt-out of the NBA’s bubble, and the loss of Bradley has hurt the team. If Los Angeles wants to add Paul to an already stacked lineup the Lakers most definitely would have to give up forward Kyle Kuzma. Bradley could also be moved in a potential deal. Point guard Alex Caruso could also be included in a deal. The Lakers did give up a lot of draft picks for Davis, so they will have to find a way to include selections in a trade for Paul
Going into the NBA’s bubble the 76ers made a position change and a lineup changes. Philadelphia moved Ben Simmons to power forward, Shake Milton became the starting point guard, and Al Horford was moved to the bench. If Philadelphia decides to keep Simmons at power forward, the 76ers should consider to seriously push for Chris Paul. Expect Al Horford to be on the move to make up for Paul’s contract. Josh Richardson could also be a key piece in a potential trade. If Horford and Richardson are moved for Paul expect picks to also be included. Zhaire Smith or Matisse Thybulle are two young players that could also be traded. If the 76ers put together a trio of Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, and Chris Paul, they can make a serious push in the Eastern Conference.
The Utah Jazz almost took out the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference’s first round. Despite going to 7 games, the Jazz relied heavily upon guard Donovan Mitchell. The Jazz will need another ball-handler to take them to the next level, and Chris Paul can be a valuable option. Utah can move on from Mike Conley and upgrade at the point guard position. The Jazz could attempt to deal Conley, a player like Royce O’Neale, and draft picks to land Paul. Jazz forward Bojan Bogdonavic might also be a key piece in a deal. The Jazz would have to be the one team to give up a group of picks in order to bring in Paul.
Dallas is in the need of a third star to pair up with Luka Dončić and Kristaps Prozingis. Chris Paul could be the guy to help Dallas make a serious push in the Western Conference. The Mavericks will have to trade someone like Tim Hardaway Jr. to make up for Paul’s contract. Point guard Delon Wright could also be a big piece in a trade for Paul. Other names you could see in a deal would be Dwight Powell, Seth Curry, and Jalen Brunson. Dallas will have to deal picks in order to acquire Chris Paul. Dončić, Prozingis, and Paul could make for one of the best trios in the NBA.