Chris Paul is without question one of the top players that will hit free agency during the 2017 NBA offseason. He has been one of the franchise pieces for the Los Angeles Clippers over the last few years, but could consider leaving town to start a fresh chapter in his career.
He will not be the most hyped name in the free agency class, as both Stephen Curry and Blake Griffin will be free agents. After those two players, Kevin Durant could test free agency again if he chooses to do so. Paul is just behind those three players when it comes to the best available.
There are going to be a lot of teams interested in signing a franchise point guard. Doc Rivers and the Clippers will likely have a major interest in re-signing Paul immediately when free agency opens. Outside of the Clippers, Paul will have his choice of almost any team that he would like to play for.
One team to keep an eye on next offseason will be the Chicago Bulls, who could try to bring in Paul to play alongside Jimmy Butler and Dwyane Wade.
Rajon Rondo was signed to a two-year, $28 million deal by the Bulls this offseason, as ESPN originally reported. Chicago will have the opportunity to release Rondo following the 2016-17 season and save some money, should they choose to go that route. They may not end up doing so, but if they feel that they have a good chance to sign a player like Paul, there is a chance that they would do so.
Last season with the Clippers, Paul ended up averaging 19.5 points, 10.0 assists, and 4.2 rebounds per game. He shot 46.2 percent from the field overall and knocked down 37.1 percent from the three-point arc. Those numbers are exactly why the Bulls could dump Rondo and look to pursue Paul.
At 31-years-old, Paul could be signing the last huge contract of his career. There is a chance that he could have one more left, but he will be searching for the deal that gives him the most comfortable long-term experience.
Paul and Wade have been close friends throughout their careers. Playing with Wade could be intriguing for Paul as well.
After Wade chose to sign with the Bulls, Paul took to his personal Twitter account to post a congratulatory message to his friend.
If Paul did end up joining Wade and Butler in Chicago, they would become a serious threat in the Eastern Conference. Chicago would immediately jump to the top of the conference and compete with LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. He could also help draw other veteran free agents to Chicago.
Chicago will have to put on a full-court press when it comes to signing Paul if they want to get a deal done. There will be a lot of aggressive offers to Paul when free agency opens.
Needless to say, Paul would have to be intrigued by playing in the city of Chicago. It has an amazing basketball history and being a part of winning a title in the Windy City is special.
It will be interesting to see which other teams show the most interest in signing Paul. The Clippers will be one of the most active teams in his free agency process, but others like the San Antonio Spurs could show interest in signing him, as previously mentioned here at the Inquisitr.
Expect to see the Bulls be one of the teams with major interest in signing Paul. He would bring them back to serious title contention. Paul may not leave Los Angeles, but the Bulls are one of the teams with a legitimate chance of convincing him to leave.
Do you think the Chicago Bulls should pursue Chris Paul next offseason? What other teams do you think would be good landing spots for him? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below!
[Photo by AP Photo/Danny Moloshok]