The Clippers have recently become “nervous” about reports that Chris Paul is expected to meet with – and perhaps seriously consider – the Spurs in free agency, an executive tells Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times. And San Antonio isn’t the only potential suitor Paul plans to talk to, according to Turner, who reports that the veteran point guard may meet with the Rockets and Nuggets as well.
If Paul gives serious consideration to leaving the Clippers, there will likely be no shortage of teams with interest in meeting with him. Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical suggested earlier this week that the Lakers and Heat could also get involved in the CP3 sweepstakes this summer. However, the Clippers should still have the upper hand in negotiations, with the ability to offer Paul more years and money than any other team, and with Jerry West joining the front office as a consultant.
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The Rockets and Nuggets probably aren’t likely landing spots for Paul, but they’d be fascinating ones. The Nuggets would be a better on-court fit for CP3, given Emmanuel Mudiay‘s slow development, but Denver typically isn’t a go-to destination for top free agents. As for the Rockets, they’re closer to title contention, but after James Harden had an MVP-esque season playing point guard, it would be surprising if Houston is willing to supplant him from that role, even for Paul.
Turner’s piece also cites several executives who say that the Celtics and Thunder are viewed as the two teams most likely to try to pry Blake Griffin away from the Clippers in free agency. Oklahoma City won’t have any cap room this summer, so if the Thunder were to make a serious run at Griffin, they’d have to dump salary or try to acquire him via sign-and-trade.