According to the Daily Herald‘s Mike McGraw, Chris Paul made a visit to Chicago to unveil a new gymnasium at a local Boys and Girls club. While putting smiles on more than a few young faces, Paul broke his silence on, of all things, Dwyane Wade’s departure from the Miami Heat and onto the Chicago Bulls. As one of the best friends of the new Bulls’ star, Chris Paul’s opinion carries some weight. He appears to be on board with Wade’s decision to join the Bulls on a two-year deal.
“I wasn’t that surprised. You’re talking about one of my best friends. I’m just happy for him. Chicago got not only a great player but a great guy. For him to be coming home, you guys got a treat.”
Chris Paul confirms that he and LeBron James are members of Dwyane Wade’s core support group.
“We talk about everything. It doesn’t matter if he asks for our advice, me and LeBron (James) are going to give him our opinion all day long.”
Paul’s thoughts on Wade’s free agency choice should suggest to everyone that the new Bulls star sought out his group of friends for advice. Given how much of a tight-knit group they have, everything has to be on the table when they talk, as Chris Paul told reporters.
What Dwyane Wade should do as a free agent had to be discussed as a group. Next year it will be Chris Paul’s turn as a free agent. And he will huddle up his family and his group of trusted compadres. The discussion will center around whether Paul should return to the Los Angeles Clippers or play elsewhere. One of his friends, Dwyane Wade will no doubt try to persuade him to pick the Chicago Bulls.
Per a tweet, it appears that a reporter asked Chris Paul if he will try and play with Wade and the Bulls. The Clippers point guard was coy on the topic.
Truth is, Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, and Carmelo Anthony have all talked about playing basketball for the same team someday.
Because James is entrenched in Cleveland, not necessarily a hotbed in terms of media markets, he would love to have someone join him there. Unfortunately, the Cleveland Cavaliers do not have the cap space to sign Paul next season.
Adding Chris Paul, 31 years old, would take the Chicago Bulls in the opposite direction as they wanted to go. That way is a younger, more athletic team.
Paul, like Wade or Rajon Rondo, is neither younger nor more athletic, but he still will be one of the best NBA free agents available next offseason. Chris Paul can still play at a high level at 31. As long as he avoid injuries, he will be productive for the next four or five years. Teams looking for upgrades at the point guard position will be interested in signing him. This includes the Chicago Bulls.
The Bulls have Rajon Rondo under contract for two years (courtesy of ESPN) with an option for the second year. If things work out with Rondo, the talk of Chris Paul possibly joining the Bulls is moot. Things become interesting if it does not work out. The Bulls offering a contract north of $20 million will not be out of the question.
Although it is most likely that the Bulls will target younger free agents, anything can happen between now and then. A major trade could shake up the Bulls’ roster, negating what interest they may or may not have in Chris Paul. One thing to factor in is the budding friendship between Paul and Jimmy Butler.
Both Paul and Butler are part of the group of NBA players who wear Jordan brand sneakers. Being on Team Jordan has afforded them the opportunity to promote their shoes, while getting a feel for each other. That time together could prove to be invaluable at some point. Chris Paul having two friends on the Chicago Bulls could play a role in the recruitment of his courtship during the NBA free agency next offseason. For all that is known, something could be in the works for Chris Paul and the Bulls at this moment. Fans will just have to wait a year to see how things unfold.
Chris Paul and Dwyane Wade could team up on the Chicago Bulls, but it will not take place until the 2017 NBA free agency. The fact that there is a conversation about the idea of Paul and Wade playing for the Bulls is interesting on its own accord.
[Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]