After establishing an impressive performance with the Oklahoma City Thunder, All-Star point guard Chris Paul is expected to be one of the hottest commodities on the trade market in the 2020 NBA offseason. Though he hasn’t shown any indication that he already wants out of the Thunder, most people believe that Paul is better off spending his remaining years in the NBA playing for a legitimate title contender. Once he becomes officially available on the trading block, Paul would likely receive strong interest from NBA teams who want to improve their backcourt.
One of the potential suitors of Paul in the 2020 NBA offseason is the Utah Jazz. According to Preston Ellis of Bleacher Report, CP3 could be the “missing ingredient” that the Jazz need to fully dominate the Western Conference and win the NBA championship title in the 2020-21 NBA season.
“Paul looked rejuvenated playing alongside second-year guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander during his first season with the Oklahoma City Thunder. He ranked ninth leaguewide in real plus-minus, and he had the 10th-best net rating in the clutch (minimum 15 games played) while slashing 53.5/36.0/93.8. Paul could be the missing ingredient Utah needs to usurp the two Western Conference favorites in L.A. If it only costs a top-10-protected first-round pick and taking on the remaining two years and $85.6 million of Paul’s contract (including a $44.2 million player option in 2021-22), it’s worth the gamble.”
Though he no longer fits the timeline of Jazz’s franchise cornerstones Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert, Paul would still be an incredible addition to Utah, giving them an All-Star caliber pass-first point guard who has plenty of playoff experience. At 34, Paul remains a very reliable option on the offensive end of the floor. This season, he is averaging 17.7 points, 4.9 rebounds, 6.8 assists, and 1.6 steals while shooting 48.9 percent from the field and 36.2 percent from beyond the arc.
Paul wouldn’t have a problem sharing the backcourt with a ball-dominant superstar like Mitchell as he is fully capable of excelling in an off-ball capacity. To acquire Paul, Ellis suggested that the Jazz could offer a trade package that includes Mike Conley and a 2022 first-round pick to the Thunder. If the trade becomes a reality, it would not only be beneficial for the Jazz, but also for the Thunder.
In exchange for Paul, the Thunder would be acquiring a new veteran mentor for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and a future draft pick that would enable them to add another young and promising talent to their roster. Though the potential deal wouldn’t give them an immediate salary cap relief, Conley’s lucrative deal is shorter than Paul. Conley’s contract would expire at the same time that the likes of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kawhi Leonard, and Paul George will be hitting the free agency market.