The Phoenix Suns intend to waive Chris Paul, making him an unrestricted free agent this summer. It is not entirely out of the question for the Suns to re-sign Paul, but all indications are that the future Hall of Famer will find a new home next season. According to TNT’s Chris Haynes, Paul has no interest in retiring and has “plans to play several more years and is eager to help a team compete for a championship.”
Here are the top five places we like to see Paul end up in next season if he leaves Phoenix.1. Los Angeles Lakers
This marriage makes sense, with the only possible thing standing in the way being the NBA Commissioner’s office again. Paul could be willing to take a financial hit to finally pair up with his friend LeBron James. Paul could be the efficient facilitator that Russell Westbrook and D’Angelo Russell were not, utilizing the pick-and-roll masterfully with Anthony Davis. For LeBron’s potential last season with the Lakers, this is a good move that keeps the Lakers in championship contention.
The Celtics’ flaws were apparent this postseason. Whether it’s the lack of chemistry, senseless ISO ball, or a commanding veteran presence to keep the egos in check, Boston can’t just run it back. They have the talent to become champions but lack order. Joe Mazzulla doesn’t control the locker room, and neither Jayson Tatum nor Jaylen Brown are great leaders. Paul’s presence would fill a basketball need, allowing Marcus Smart to play off-ball more, and would bring leadership to the locker room.3. Los Angeles Clippers
A reunion? The Clippers are where Paul had the best moments in his Hall of Fame career, but they have a glaring hole at point guard. A healthy Paul George and Kawhi Leonard could be a Chris Paul away from being in the NBA Finals next year. Westbrook likely isn’t back, Reggie Jackson won’t cut it, and the John Wall experiment crashed and burned. Making a serious push to reacquire CP3 needs to happen.4. Milwaukee Bucks
Paul joining Milwaukee would give him the best chance of winning a ring. He’d fit seamlessly alongside Jrue Holiday in the backcourt or would be a dangerous sixth man off the bench. The pairing with Giannis Antetokounmpo in the pick-and-roll would be lethal, while the versatility and flexibility he’d offer new coach Adrian Griffin would be endless.5. Memphis Grizzlies
Where do the Grizzlies go if the NBA brings the hammer down on Ja Morant? Do they punt on half the season? The full year? Tyus Jones is good but can’t run the show for the whole season, and it won’t get the No. 2 seed over the hump. Bringing in Paul will fill an immediate short-term need and keep Memphis in contention in the West. More importantly, he would become a mentor to Morant and hopefully knock some sense into him. Feels like a win-win for all involved.