Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Chris Paul is expected to be one of the most coveted players on the trade market in the offseason. CP3 has been playing well in his first season with the Thunder, but with the team heading into an inevitable rebuild, he’s obviously an odd fit on their roster. Once he becomes officially available on the trading block this fall, several teams who are in dire need of a backcourt upgrade are expected to express interest in adding him to their roster, including the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Bucks currently have Eric Bledsoe as their starting point guard, but if he once again displays an underwhelming performance in the upcoming playoffs, Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report believes that Milwaukee should strongly consider replacing him with Paul next year.
“Chris Paul would be a clear upgrade, and he was said to have eyes on Milwaukee in October. He can be the same kind of defensive pest as Bledsoe, only Paul is a much more accomplished shooter (career 37.0 percent from three) and shot creator (9.5 assists against 2.4 turnovers). He’s also a much better playoff performer than his reputation suggests, as his career 24.5 player efficiency rating in the postseason is eighth-highest in NBA history.”
Paul may already be on the downside of his career and has health issues with numerous injuries in the last few years, but he has proven this season that he still has plenty of gas left in his tank. With his current performance, most people will agree that Paul is a much better floor general than Bledsoe.
Compared to Bledsoe, Paul is very familiar with the playoff environment.
From the time he set foot in the league, Paul has shown that, when he’s healthy, he’s capable of playing under pressure and stepping up in crucial situations when needed. In his 11 postseason appearances, he has averaged 20.9 points, 5.1 rebounds, 8.5 assists, and 2.2 steals while shooting 47.7 percent from the field, and 36.5 percent from beyond the arc, per ESPN.
The potential arrival of Paul in Milwaukee would not only give the Bucks an upgrade at the point guard position, but it would also help them convince the face of the franchise, Giannis Antetokounmpo, to sign a long-term deal with the team.
As Buckley noted, to prevent Antetokounmpo from thinking of going somewhere else, the Bucks should show him that they are serious about building the strongest roster possible around him.
However, the Bucks would need to be creative to bring Paul to Milwaukee. Though including a future draft pick in the package may be enough to convince the Thunder to make a deal, the Bucks would also be forced to sacrifice some of their key players to match CP3’s massive salary.