Chris Paul was one of the biggest dominoes to fall in what was a wild NBA offseason. He had decided to call time on his six-year stay with the L.A. Clippers.
Paul ultimately didn’t get the chance to hit the open market after he agreed to opt into his contract to facilitate a trade to the Houston Rockets. But if he had been an unrestricted free agent, the Rockets were still one of his top three choices along with the San Antonio Spurs and Boston Celtics, Kelly Iko of The Dream Shake reports.
Chris Paul’s main priority in choosing his next team was likely winning, so it was not surprising to see three successful and competently-run franchises included on his free-agent list.
It was widely reported early in the offseason that Paul would strongly consider the Spurs. He also planned to meet with the Rockets, although it was unclear how seriously he would consider Houston due to the questionable fit with James Harden.
Boston was the one team that Paul considered but wasn’t strongly linked with. The Celtics still had Isaiah Thomas at that point, and they had their sights set on targeting a top wing like Gordon Hayward in free agency instead of another point guard. The Celtics eventually did land another point guard in Kyrie Irving later in the offseason, but it also meant letting go of Thomas.
It remains to be seen whether Chris Paul’s decision to join the Rockets will ultimately produce the results he wanted, but after an opening-night win against the Golden State Warriors, the early returns from his new team do look promising.