The Phoenix Suns have reportedly informed 12-time All-Star Chris Paul that he will be waived, according to Chris Haynes of TNT. Just like that, Paul becomes one of the most coveted free agents this offseason. The 38-year-old reportedly intends to play several more seasons and wants to help a team win a championship.
Despite a decline in production in the 2022-23 season, where he averaged a career-low 13.9 points and 8.9 assists on 44.0 percent field goal shooting, Paul is still capable of being a key piece for a title contender. Definitely, several championship aspirants will be lining up to sign the future Hall of Famer. With that said, here are the four best Chris Paul destinations after getting waived by the Suns.
One contender that Paul could end up on to win his first ring is ironically the team that prevented his best chance to win a championship — the Milwaukee Bucks. It was just two years ago when Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks defeated Paul and the Suns in the 2021 NBA Finals.
Unfortunately, after winning the title in 2021, Milwaukee has failed to make it even past the conference semi-finals. The Bucks were knocked off in round two in 2022, and were taken down by the No. 8 seed and eventual Eastern Conference champions Miami Heat in the very first round in 2023.
Paul's arrival shouldn't affect Milwaukee's current point guard Jrue Holiday at all. Holiday has played the two-guard position and is more-than-capable of playing off the ball as well. In addition, it's hard not to imagine just how terrific a two-man game between CP3 and The Greek Freak would look like. Paul's playmaking magic and Antetokounmpo's unstoppable finishing might just be the tandem the rest of the NBA doesn't want to see.
Maybe Chris Paul might consider a reunion with his former squad, the Los Angeles Clippers? Paul had some of his best years as a Clipper, where he made five All-Star appearances. He led the renaissance of the dismal Clippers franchise and turned them into a perennial playoff team and even championship contenders for a couple of years.
Similarly, this current Clippers squad led by Kawhi Leonard and Paul George hasn't lived up to the hype since the two came to Tinsel Town in 2019. They have only had one healthy postseason together (in the 2020 Bubble Playoffs), but even that ended in disaster when they blew a 3-1 lead to the Denver Nuggets. Since then, either George or Leonard have been on the sidelines for the Clippers. But they are banking on the 2023-24 season as the year they'll finally get to June in one piece and finally hoist a trophy on their side of LA.
With that, perhaps Paul can help them get there. Like the Celtics, the Clippers have also been looking for a lead guard that can help take the playmaking duties off their two wing stars. CP3 might just be the man for the job. And Paul helping the Clippers win their first ring would also be a storybook ending for the future Hall of Famer.
The Boston Celtics won't back down from the Chris Paul sweepstakes this summer. Having made an NBA Finals appearance and five Eastern Conference Finals appearances over the last seven years, this Celtics team has been on the doorstep of a title. However, they just haven't been able to get over the hump. Perhaps the veteran point guard is the missing piece to their championship puzzle.
Since the start of the Jayson Tatum-Jaylen Brown era, Boston has lacked a true point guard that can play the role of lead facilitator. While Tatum and Brown have developed in that regard since coming to the league, it's clear that those two just haven't grown enough to thrive as the main playmakers for their squads. Marcus Smart just isn't cut for that role, either. And Malcolm Brogdon was a solid addition last summer, but thrived more as the lead facilitator for the second unit. Maybe Paul might just be their final ticket to a title.
The Los Angeles Lakers are probably the favorites to land Chris Paul. Lakers superstar LeBron James has a well-documented friendship with Paul and it's likely that James has already reached out to his good buddy to join him in Hollywood.
The Lakers have been linked to another free agent point guard in Kyrie Irving, who also has a history with James. But if that doesn't come to fruition, Paul is just as good an option due to his relationship with James.
Don't forget Paul's history with the Lakers, as well. 11 years ago, Paul came close to donning the Purple and Gold when Los Angeles acquired him in a massive blockbuster deal that would have paired him with late Lakers legend Kobe Bryant in the backcourt. But then-NBA Commissioner David Stern vetoed the deal and Paul eventually ended up going to the Clippers.
Could this become a full-circle moment for Paul? Imagine, Paul becomes a Laker. And playing alongside his good friend LeBron James, he finally gets that coveted NBA Championship he has been longing for. What a storybook ending that would be for one of the all-time great point guards after such a rollercoaster of a career.