The Cleveland Cavaliers may want to consider Chris Paul if the Phoenix Suns wave him.
The NBA rumor mill got churned up this week when it was revealed that Chris Paul of the Phoenix Suns may very well be leaving the team this offseason. With a new CBA in place, there are more restrictions to teams that go over the salary cap. The more over you are, the fewer options you have available to you to use to acquire talent. This has made the decision for the Suns to potentially wave Paul a very easy one. Now, Paul isn’t waved yet, and may not be, as the Suns have until June 28 to make a decision if they’re going to fully guarantee his contract.
That means they could trade him, wave him or retain him. If they retain him after the June 28th deadline, his entire contract is guaranteed for the rest of the season. If they wave him, they’ll only have to pay him about half, $15.8 million, saving the Suns a considerable amount of money. While Paul isn’t the player he used to be, what may be the Suns’ loss could be the Cleveland Cavaliers’ gain.
Now, the Cleveland Cavaliers aren’t hurting for ball handlers, with Darius Garland, Donovan Mitchell, and Ricky Rubio on the roster for the 2023-2024 season. With the Cavs’ inability to structure an offense that doesn’t involve Mitchell shooting a dozen threes per game, it wouldn’t make a lot of sense to bring Paul in right now.
None of that is untrue, and while he only averaged 14 points, 9 assists, and 4 rebounds per game, he did have a decent shooting season. His shooting splits were solid, .440/.375/.831, and could be instant offense off the bench.
But the real question is, should the Cleveland Cavaliers even pursue Paul?
The Cleveland Cavaliers should pursue Chris Paul if he hits the market
The Cleveland Cavaliers should absolutely pursue Paul. While he may still think he’s a starter in the league, he’s likely not. His availability and injury concerns are too high for a team to lean on him for that long. Playing him 20-25 minutes a game is a far easier workload for the 38-year-old point guard.
On the Cavs, he’d have less responsibility for the team’s success, and wouldn’t be pushed nearly as hard. He’d be able to be fresher and hopefully, healthier.
Not only that but having him on the court means that the second unit would be able to have a reliable shooter, at least compared to Rubio. I think Paul and Rubio would be a fantastic defensive combo coming off the bench, and both men are excellent passers. Undersized, sure, but size isn’t everything.
The Cavs would also benefit from his leadership and experience. He’s been in the league 20 years and is a Top 5 point guard of all time, at least to many. Guys like Garland need the tutelage that Paul brings. He never had a mentor in his position, outside of maybe Rubio, and they play very different styles of basketball. Paul is a more one-to-one version of Garland and could help usher the young All-Star to the next level of the game.
Plus, it’d just be nice to know your second unit is well taken care of.
Now, I would not trade for Paul. Absolutely not, but if he gets waived, the Cavs would be foolish to not take a shot at getting him. It’s low cost, high reward at that point.