Chris Paul rumors indicate the San Antonio Spurs badly want to sign him. If the Spurs sign Paul, the L.A. Clippers might lose Blake Griffin as well. All of these scenarios are contingent on the two All-Stars wanting to get out of Los Angeles, which is something that has already been mentioned in several previous NBA trade rumors.
A report by ESPN confirms that the Spurs are regarded as a real “threat” to lure Paul away from the Clippers, making it a rather big story as the NBA offseason draws closer. The Spurs are looking to improve a roster that came up short against the Golden State Warriors in the 2017 NBA Playoffs. Adding a prized free agent like Chris Paul to a roster that already includes Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge could give the team a huge boost of momentum.
One of the major stumbling blocks to these Chris Paul rumors, though, is that the San Antonio Spurs don’t have the salary cap space to offer him a large free agent contract. Assuming that Pau Gasol, Dewayne Dedmon, and David Lee accept their player options for the 2017-18 NBA season, the Spurs will already have more than $93 million in committed salaries for the current roster. That would put the team above the NBA salary cap threshold.
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) May 26, 2017
If the Los Angeles Clippers feel that they are going to lose an All-Star point guard to free agency, then it could become time to explore a Chris Paul trade. The Clippers and Spurs could agree to a sign-and-trade deal, allowing Paul to accept a maximum deal from the Clippers, but still make his way out of the city of Los Angeles. If Paul leaves the Clippers, it is also expected that Griffin would decide it is time to explore some new scenery.
Chris Paul’s contract still has one year left on it, but he has already made it known that he is going to opt out of that deal following the current NBA season. That is the same situation for Blake Griffin’s contract, as he will opt out in order to receive a huge pay raise in free agency. If Paul wants to re-sign with the Clippers, he is eligible for a five-year contract extension worth an estimated $205 million. That would be more money than he could receive from any other franchise during free agency.
— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) May 27, 2017
If the San Antonio Spurs found a way to clear up salary cap space, the team could only offer a four-year deal worth roughly $152 million. It’s difficult for an aging point guard to make that kind of money, so this free agency period might yield the final maximum contract for Paul. He could accept $205 million from the Clippers, $152 million from any other team in free agency, or convince the Clippers to sign him for $205 million and then trade him to a new team.
It would be a huge blow if the L.A. Clippers lose both Paul and Griffin this offseason, but it would take a lot for other teams to lure the All-Stars away from the big city. Quite a few NBA rumors have hinted at the two players looking for a new situation, but since nothing has been stated by them to the press just yet, the odds are in favor of re-signing with the Clippers. Potential reasons to leave Los Angeles could include the chance to join a true contender, the ability to play in a different situation, and the mounting frustrations of no postseason team success under Doc Rivers.
The front office of the L.A. Clippers is going to do everything it can to maintain a competitive roster, possibly even trying to pull off a Carmelo Anthony trade in order to keep players interested in staying put. There is going to be a lot of stress among members of the front office and the fanbase, though, as Chris Paul and Blake Griffin will have all the leverage as the NBA free agency period begins on July 1.
[Featured Image by Harry How/Getty Images]