With the Houston Rockets apparently making Chris Paul available for trade, the usual suspects are expected to be interested. You know, the Los Angeles Lakers, the New York Knicks, the Miami Heat.

But what about the Indiana Pacers?

Not typically a team that goes after superstars, the Pacers are in a very favorable position going into this summer. They have nearly $50 million in cap room, meaning they can land a max player (like Kemba Walker, for example) via free agency.

Or, they can make a trade for star, like Paul.

Right now, Indiana is a really good basketball team, but it is clearly not a legitimate title contender. However, if the Pacers add another star player into the picture alongside of a hopefully healthy Victor Oladipo, suddenly, they become incredibly threatening.

Could Paul be that guy?

Let's preface this by saying that this is not the same Chris Paul from a few years back. He has clearly lost a step (or two), is even more injury-prone than he used to be and is on a fat contract.

So, you would no longer be getting a unanimous top 10 player in the league. Instead, you would be getting an All-Star caliber veteran with incredible basketball savvy and a burning desire to win, which is still terrific.

Of course, you would also not be signing Paul outright in free agency, so you would have to give up something in return to get him. You probably won't have to surrender all that much, as the Rockets may just be happy to dump Paul's contract at this point, but you still have to send something back, and given Paul's $38.5 million salary for next season, that could be tricky.

For Indiana, absorbing Paul's salary wouldn't be much of an issue, so the Pacers actually wouldn't even have to send back equal salary to Houston in return. What Indy would have to do, however, is renounce rights to just about all of its free agents. That is easier said than done, because the Pacers have a lot of free agents this summer, as Thaddeus Young, Bojan Bogdanovic and Darren Collison are all key players who can walk.

Still, Indiana doesn't have to renounce Bogdanovic, and Collison would be replaced by Paul anyway, so that would just be an upgrade. The Pacers would probably lose Young, who is a critical piece of what they do, but for Paul, it might be worth it.

A backcourt of Oladipo and Paul would be terrific, as Paul would take a whole lot of pressure off of Oladipo and allow him to focus on being the primary scorer rather than having to both score and facilitate.

Not only that, but the defensive tandem of Oladipo and Paul would be nasty, as both guys are tenacious on-ball defenders and relentlessly fight through screens to harass opposing guards and wings.

The Pacers could then fill out the rest of their roster with shooters and cheap three-and-D guys.

Indiana is not nearly as far away from contending as some would leave you to believe. This is a team that would have been incredibly dangerous in the Eastern Conference this season had Oladipo not gotten hurt, and with a ton of cap room this summer, the Pacers are only one or two moves away from being a serious title threat.

Adding Paul could help them reach that level.