The Los Angeles Clippers have a number of crucial decisions to make this offseason, a lot of which center around their guard play. With the futures of James Harden, Paul George, and Russell Westbrook currently in limbo, enter… Chris Paul? Kyle Lowry?

According to longtime NBA insider Marc Stein, the Clippers are eyeing the potential futures of both their former Hall-of-Fame point guard in Chris Paul as well as former Philadelphia 76ers guard Kyle Lowry.

“The Clippers, I'm told, should be added to the list of teams that could emerge as a suitor for potential free agent Chris Paul. Caveats are immediately required in this situation, since Paul might not even make it to free agency if the Warriors decide next month to keep him or trade hin to a team that wants to keep him.

I nonetheless heard this week that Paul and Kyle Lowry, whose free agency is looming after finishing last season in Philadelphia, are veteran guards said to interest the Clippers … with a further variable to factor in stemming from Russell Westbrook's still-to-be determined status. Westbrook has a $4 million player option for next season that he must decide on by June 29.”

The Clippers' interest in both Paul and Lowry isn't surprising, given how veteran-laden the team has been the last few years as they pursue the organization's first ever NBA Championship. Their key needs this offseason, however, are the same as they were last offseason: they need to get younger and more athletic around Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and James Harden, should they choose to run that trio back again.

What Of Paul George, James Harden, And Russell Westbrook

Paul George has a player option he needs to decide on by the end of June. He and the Clippers have until then to negotiate an extension, something that was considered likely since January 2024 when Kawhi Leonard signed his three-year extension.

The deal, however, has not come to fruition as of yet, with both sides remaining far apart on both the years and the total dollar amount of the deal.

Leonard's extension with the Clippers was a three-year deal worth $152 million. That deal was shorter and less than the four-year, $220 million deal that he could've gotten from the Clippers. Translation: The team's best player took one fewer year and about $10 million less than the max he could've gotten, in part to help the team build a contender over the next few years.

George and the Clippers have until June 30 to get an extension done, and it's very possible they do, but the negotiations dragging out this long is not a good sign. The Clippers want to align Leonard and George up on similar deals and timelines.

LA Clippers forward Paul George (13) is fouled by Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) during the first quarter during game six of the first round for the 2024 NBA playoffs at American Airlines Center.
© Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

There have been numerous reports that the Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers, and even the Indiana Pacers are interested in signing George. Additionally, those reports of stated that the magic and Sixers could be willing to offer him the max deal he’s desired, but not received from the Clippers as of yet.

James Harden requested a trade to Los Angeles last year and is entering unrestricted free agency this summer. He is expected to resign with the Clippers, especially now that he’s back home in Los Angeles, but anything is possible in free agency.

Russell Westbrook has a player option for the 2024-25 season. He resigned with the Clippers on a two-year deal with the hope of being their starting point guard last summer, but the Clippers traded for James Harden and his role changed entirely overnight. Westbrook was solid throughout the year as the Clippers' backup point guard position, but struggled mightily in the postseason.

In the first round series against the Dallas Mavericks, Westbrook shot 8-of-42 from the field in Games 2-6 after helping the Clippers to a Game 1 victory with 13 points, four rebounds, and four assists on 5-of-8 shooting. It was a disastrous performance from him in what was ultimately a disastrous first round exit for the Clippers.

Russell Westbrook will turn 36 years of age in November 2024.

Still Going: Chris Paul and Kyle Lowry

Acquiring a guard like Chris Paul or Kyle Lowry would certainly help the Clippers, but does not address any of their needs stated above: youth and athleticism. Chris Paul just turned 39 years of age in early May while Kyle Lowry just turned 38 in March.

It would remain to be seen how those aging point guards — as great as their careers have been — help you at this stage.

Chris Paul averaged career lows nearly across the board at 9.2 points, 3.6 rebounds, 6.8 assists, and 1.2 steals per game on 44.1 percent shooting from the field and 37.1 percent from three. Paul has played 19 years in the NBA now, and the 2024-25 season will be his 20th in the NBA, making him the 11th player in NBA history to reach the 20-season mark.

Kyle Lowry just wrapped up his 18th season in the NBA, with his Philadelphia 76ers falling short to the New York Knicks in their first round series. Lowry averaged 8.1 points, 3.2 rebounds, 4.2 assists, and 1.0 steal per game in 28 minutes of play.