The Milwaukee Bucks may be currently at the top spot of the new NBA Power Rankings, but some people still don’t see them as the heavy favorite to bring home the Larry O’Brien Trophy in the 2019-20 NBA season. In order to have a better chance of ruling the Eastern Conference and winning the Finals next year, the Bucks may have to consider seeking additional star power before the February trade deadline. In the past months, Milwaukee has already been linked to several superstars who are or may be available on the trade market, including Chris Paul of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
In his recent article, Brian Sampson of The Ringer suggested that the Bucks could explore moving a trade package centered on veteran point guard Eric Bledsoe to acquire Paul from the Thunder. Though the potential deal involving the nine-time All-Star would bury Milwaukee deep into luxury tax hell, Sampson believes that it would help them become a more competitive team this season.
“Ownership would also have to be okay with going into the luxury tax-something fans are skeptical about. On the court, the fit would be pretty good. Despite his advanced age, Paul would stabilize the point guard position. It’s a coin flip to decide who’s better, but he doesn’t go through the extreme highs and lows Bledsoe does. Paul loves to have the ball in his hands, but he showed in Houston he can play second fiddle when necessary. His outside shooting and defense are on par with what the Bucks want.”
At the age of 34, it’s hard to deny that Paul is already on the downside of his NBA career. However, he still has plenty of gas left in his tank and remains a very reliable contributor on the offensive end of the floor. This season, “CP3” is averaging 15.7 points, 4.2 rebounds, 5.7 assists, and 1.7 steals while shooting 45.6 percent from the field and 38.6 percent from beyond the arc.
Though he’s older, Paul may be an upgrade for Bledsoe at the point guard position. Having an All-Star-caliber floor general with plenty of playoff experience will be more beneficial for the Bucks when the real battle begins in the postseason. With the years he spent playing alongside Houston Rockets star James Harden, Paul won’t have a hard time fitting in next to a ball-dominant superstar like Giannis Antetokounmpo in Milwaukee.
The potential deal would also be beneficial for the Thunder. Aside from freeing up a huge chunk of their salary cap space, it would also allow them to focus more on the development of their young players. However, as of now, the Thunder might still be expecting to receive some valuable assets in return for Paul.