Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Chris Paul is one of the veteran superstars who is expected to change teams in the 2020 offseason. Paul may be the main reason behind the Thunder’s success last season, but with the team heading into an inevitable rebuild, he’s clearly an odd fit on their roster. One of the most intriguing landing spots for CP3 this fall is the Boston Celtics.
In a recent episode of Locked On Celtics Podcast, host John Karalis discussed a hypothetical blockbuster deal that would send the Point God to Boston in exchange for Kemba Walker. Though it’s hard to imagine them pulling the trigger on such a deal, Karalis made some interesting points on why the Celtics should explore trading Walker for Paul.
“The question is interesting though, would you rather have one year of Kemba or one year of Chris Paul, no contracts, no nothing,” Karalis said, as quoted by Nick Angstadt of ClutchPoints.
“You’re just picking one year of one of those guys, and I picked the one year of Chris Paul. Chris Paul is kind of perfect for Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum. He has that level of knowledge that they need. I would say it’s worth the $41 million almost, to just crack the heads open of Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum and to pour the knowledge that Chris Paul has into their heads.”
Paul may no longer be the explosive scorer he was before, but he’s clearly a much better playmaker than Walker. Last season, he averaged 17.6 points, 5.0 rebounds, 6.7 assists, and 1.6 steals while shooting 48.9 percent from the field and 36.5 percent from beyond the arc, per ESPN. Having a floor general who has plenty of postseason experience will boost the Celtics’ chances of making a deeper playoff run in the 2020-21 NBA season.
The potential arrival of Paul in Boston would greatly benefit franchise cornerstones Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Unlike Walker, Paul wouldn’t mind receiving lesser ball touches since he’s capable of excelling in an off-ball capacity. Also, as Karalis noted, being mentored by a future Hall of Famer like CP3 would help Tatum and Brown speed up their development into legitimate superstars in the league.
If the deal pushes through, Walker is unlikely to stay put in Oklahoma City. With the team expected to focus on the development of their young core, the Thunder are likely to move Walker in a separate deal that would enable them to acquire young players and future draft picks.