It looks like teams are willing to take Chris Paul’s contract after-all. Despite having a 4-year, $159 million contract at 34-years-old, it appears as if CP3 is generating some interest on the trade market, most notably by the Hornets and Heat — two teams that, strangely, already have high-quality point guards of their own, per Sean Deveney of Sporting News.
Charlotte and Miami are among the teams that could be interested in Paul. Phoenix is weighing its options at point guard, but there is an outside chance they’d get involved. And keep an eye on the Lakers or Knicks – it’s likely that one of them will strike out in free agency and need a face-saving trade to rescue the summer. Paul is a face-saving trade target.
The bigger question for Houston is what they would get in return. Would it be enough to make them contenders?
Deveney says no, saying that Chris Paul’s dead-wood contract is not going to get Houston the pieces they desire.
For Houston, the issue is that the team would like to get assets back that can keep the team in contention and continue to maximize James Harden’s prime years. That is just not going to happen with a contract like Paul’s, though.
But Houston is not going to get anything significant back from any of those teams, nothing that will truly benefit Harden. Goran Dragic and Kelly Olynyk? Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Nic Batum? Empty space from New York?
Trading Paul won’t bring back the kind of pieces that keep the Rockets relevant. It will only (possibly) free up enough space to give Houston flexibility.
The Rockets will also have to take back a salary dump in return, meaning they will not be completely off the books in regards to overpaid players.
Still, just getting their hands off that Paul deal might give Houston some flexibility going forward. If you’re Houston, that’s the best you can hope for at this point.