I want to start by saying that while it is possible it is highly unlikely that Chris Paul leaves the Clippers. If he were to do so that would change the whole forecast of the Western Conference as the Clippers may not even be a playoff team without him. But he does have options because let’s be honest, any team would pay to have Chris Paul on their team.
Let’s look at the teams that would be the best fit for Chris Paul if he decided to leave Los Angeles.
Utah Jazz – Unrealistic scenario
A lot of people are high on the Jazz because of the young talent that they possess. Some people have even put them down as a 50-win team this season. It may seem like an odd pairing, but the Jazz certainly do look like that next team to make the jump into playoff contention and Chris Paul would elevate them tremendously. Insert Paul into the lineup and you automatically make every player on the floor with him better.
He would be leaving great big men in L.A. but would have two rising stars in the paint in Salt Lake City. This probably is not a realistic scenario, but it would work.
Dallas Mavericks – The Story of the Year
This would be awkward. After DeAndre Jordan spurned the Mavericks to return to Los Angeles Chris Paul winds in in big D? Imagine how crazy the NBA world would go that day. Aside from the drama, though, this would be a pretty good fit for Paul.
The Mavericks have a solid group of players and a couple of young gems in Justin Anderson and Salah Mejri. This team has been a middle of the pack team since winning the championship in 2011 and have chased after every available star in free agency since with nothing to show for it. However, if Chris Paul were on this roster they would no longer be a middle of the road team because they would have somebody besides Dirk Nowitzki to create their own shots and shots for others.
This Mavericks team would go from fringe playoff team to top 4 teams in the Western Conference with ease and have the potential to make some noise in the playoffs. On top of that, Nowitzki could finish off his career with one more realistic shot at a ring instead of exiting early in the playoffs every season.
New York Knicks – The Brotherhood
I know what you’re thinking; didn’t the Knicks just get Derrick Rose? Well, my rebuttal for that is wouldn’t you rather have Chris Paul? Anyone in their right mind would.
However, Phil Jackson appears to not be in his right mind with a lot of the moves he has made as the Knicks GM so this is an unlikely move. But Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul are very good friends and those two and LeBron James expressed an interest in playing together one day. Those three will probably never all play on the same team but two of them could if they let Rose go and make a run at Paul.
Right now the Knicks look like they will be a 6 or 7 seed at best this season, but if you replace Rose with Paul that changes the whole equation. Chris Paul is not a perfect point guard for the triangle offense but it would behoove the Knicks to get rid of that anyways. Paul takes the ball out of Melo’s hands, if he allows it, and creates a better offensive flow for New York. Right now the ball completely stops when Carmelo Anthony touches it and it limits the scoring ability of New York if he is having an off night. Chris Paul would demand so much attention that Anthony and company would have a chance to get easy buckets.
As mentioned above the chances of Paul leaving Los Angeles are very unlikely and it is expected that he will stay with the team. However, we have seen stranger things happen in recent years so you never know. Do you think Chris Paul will leave? If so what teams do you think are best for him? Let us know.