Annnnnnnnnnnnnd there it is!
That certainly didn't take long from what I wrote this morning in my earlier CP3/Lakers trade blog
Who knows, maybe now that Paul only has a partially guaranteed contract for next season ($15M), the Suns look to avoid paying a 38 year old point guard $30M (guaranteed after 6/28) and Paul does finally find his way to the Lakers. Lord knows they'd rather have him than DLo, there's the LeBron connection, I don't think it's necessarily a stretch. If LeBron wants point guard help, I imagine the path to Chris Paul is certainly easier than say, Kyrie Irving. While I'm not sure getting older is the path the Lakers should be taking, it wouldn't surprise me if that's how things shook out
I won't act like this isn't something many other people have speculated ever since the Suns season ended. When you have an old point guard who has a partially guaranteed deal, this is usually how things go. For all we know Paul asked for this so he could go where he wanted, but the wording of Haynes' tweet makes it seem like this is more the team telling CP3 thanks for the last 3 years but see ya later.
This is significant once we turn the page and start thinking of what comes next, because now Paul can sign for whatever he wants. Maybe that's the minimum, maybe that's MLE money, but had he not been waived and had been on the roster past 6/28, you're now looking at the $30M price tag. That's a little different compared to what it will now take for a team to bring in CP3.
I don't see how the Lakers wouldn't be the leader in the clubhouse given both the positional need and the relationship with LeBron, especially since it now won't take assets or a ton of money to make that happen. They've been pretty clear they plan on spending whatever it takes to keep Austin Reaves and Vanderbilt, so being able to get out of the DLo business while bringing in CP3 at a low price is certainly a way you can address all your needs.
One would assume he's only interested in joining a contender, so who is in that group that even needs a point guard, let alone one that probably will only go somewhere where he can start?
Grizzlies (if Ja gets a big suspension)
Dallas (if Kyrie doesn't come back)
Is that it? I imagine some people might list the Celts there, but personally, I'm all set. Love CP3 as a player, but the Celts have bigger positional issues they need to address than adding another aging point guard.
In terms of the Suns, they are now in the market for a starting point guard and they do not exactly have a ton of way to find that guy.
They don't have any cap space to snag a free agent, they'll have the tax payer MLE which is around $5M. Looking at their guaranteed contracts heading into free agency, there's not a ton left
Do they try and move Ayton in an effort to replenish? Let's just say for the sake of this blog that they find a way to get a decent chunk of money to spend on a free agent point guard. How does the class look this year?
are any of those dudes the answer who would also come aboard for under $20M?
I'd love to know how Kevin Durant feels about all this. He paired up with Kyrie to form a superteam in BKN only for that to fall apart. Then he demanded a trade to PHX so that he could form another one with CP3/Ayton/Booker. Now CP3 is out and there's a chance Ayton could be next? All while they just fired Monty Williams and brought in Frank Vogel? That can't be what he was picturing when he told the Nets to send him to PHX. If he decides to say fuck it and bail, then what?
All I know is between an awesome NBA Finals and some free agency drama a month before free agency even starts, there's truly nothing like the NBA this time of year.
So let's hear it. Where do you have Chris Paul landing? I'm sticking with Lakers.