Chris Paul Could Return To Clippers As Wizards Pursue Third Team

The Wizards are fielding offers to re-route Chris Paul to a contender, which is why the blockbuster trade with the Suns may take a few days to be officially completed, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweets.

Phoenix is in the process of acquiring star wing Bradley Beal, with the Wizards expected to receive Paul, Landry Shamet, multiple second-round picks, and multiple pick swaps in the trade. The parameters of the trade could be altered somewhat if a third team is involved.

The Clippers are expected to pursue a reunion with Paul, according to Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report and TNT (Twitter link). As Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype notes (Twitter link), the Clippers would need to send out $22.6MM to match salaries for Paul.

That could be achieved in a number of ways. Eric Gordon ($20.9MM non-guaranteed), Marcus Morris ($17.1MM), Robert Covington ($11.7MM), Nicolas Batum ($11.7MM), Amir Coffey ($3.7MM) and Bones Hyland ($2.3MM) are some of the salaries the Clippers could combine to make it happen.

If the Clippers were to acquire Paul, it would seemingly extinguish the possibility of re-signing Russell Westbrook, who will be an unrestricted free agent. It would also set up an intriguing three-star core group with Paul distributing to Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. Paul played for the Clippers from 2011-17.

The Wizards could actually sign off on the original two-team deal and then try to flip Paul, but they have incentive to wait, John Hollinger of The Athletic tweets. A three-team swap could create a larger trade exception for Washington, particularly if one of the players they receive fits into the $6.3MM trade exception they possess as a result of trading Rui Hachimura to the Lakers last season.

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