That said, if Phoenix is unable to find a better alternative and winds up releasing Paul, the longtime veteran would be “very coveted” on the open market, Wojnarowski says. Woj names the Lakers and Clippers as two teams that would be interested in Paul’s services, noting that the veteran point guard lives in Los Angeles in the offseason.
Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated speculates (via Twitter) that the Grizzlies, Celtics and Heat could be among the other teams calling Paul’s agents if he hits unrestricted free agency.
Here’s more from the Western Conference
- LeBron James hinted at retirement after the Lakers were swept by the Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals. NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, whom James passed this season to become the league’s all-time leading scorer, recently touched on the possibility of James retiring, as Dan Woike of The Los Angeles Times writes. “At the end of the year, after all that, LeBron and most of the guys looked like they’d been through two seasons, you know? But they still gave it an awesome effort,” Abdul-Jabbar said Monday. “I think it’s up to him. Certainly doesn’t have to prove anything. And it’s just what he wants to do at this point.”
- Kyrie Irving reportedly wants the Mavericks to pursue James, but that’s certainly far-fetched. Even if they could pull it off, Tim Cato of The Athletic argues that adding James wouldn’t make the Mavs a title contender, as having three players on max (or near max) deals while trading away all their remaining assets would make it incredibly difficult to build out the rest of the roster. Cato also notes that James’ defensive effort comes and goes at this stage of his career and he isn’t a reliable spot-up shooter to complement Luka Doncic.
- Former NBA guard Pooh Jeter is retiring as a player, reports Marc J. Spears of Andscape (via Twitter). Jeter played for the G League Ignite this past season and mentored Scoot Henderson. The 39-year-old has already found a new gig, reaching an agreement in principle to become an assistant GM for the Trail Blazers‘ new G League affiliate. Jeter will also serve as a player development coach for the Blazers, according to Spears.