Chris Paul was going to be a highly sought after player in free agency this summer, but the Houston Rockets made sure the point guard wouldn’t hit the open market.
The Rockets agreed to trade for Paul in a blockbuster deal with the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday, pairing CP3 with James Harden in what should be a lethal backcourt.
Paul reportedly had his eyes set on Houston for quite some time, but it allegedly wasn’t the only team he had interest in. The nine-time All-Star reportedly considered the San Antonio Spurs, but his desire to head to The Lone Star State dwindled due to the Spurs’ current roster.
According to Marc Spears of The Undefeated, the uncertainty surrounding LaMarcus Aldridge’s future with the Spurs, as well as an aging Tony Parker created concern for Paul in possibly joining San Antonio.
“Paul was seriously interested in playing for the Spurs, according to a source,” Spears writes. “But with Aldridge’s status with the Spurs up in the air, it made the situation less attractive. It probably would have been awkward for Paul to take the starting role over longtime Spurs point guard, respected foe and friend Tony Parker.”
Rumors of Aldridge’s possible departure first surfaced in the days leading up to the 2017 NBA Draft. The Spurs reportedly were shopping the power forward in hopes of acquiring a top-ten pick, but ultimately never orchestrated a deal.
Paul’s trepidation in replacing Parker certainly makes sense. The 16-year veteran has spent his entire career with the Spurs, and arguably is the best point guard in the franchise’s story. He’s a six-time All-Star, a four-time NBA champion, and earned Finals MVP honors in the Spurs’ title win over the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2007.
Parker’s age and injury history could force him out of the game in the near future, though, which could nudge San Antonio to go after a point guard in free agency this summer. Kyle Lowry could be an option, as well as a possible reunion with George Hill.
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