The Athletic’s Shams Charania recently reported that the Phoenix Suns are exploring their options with point guard Chris Paul. Fans of the Milwaukee Bucks have wondered what this would mean for his future in Phoenix.
Will Phoenix release Paul outright? Will they explore a sign-and-trade deal, potentially including 24-year-old center Deandre Ayton? Will Phoenix simply look to restructure Paul’s contract in an effort to preserve cap space?
Paul is 38 years old and is owed $30.8 million for the upcoming season. However, just $15.8 million of that salary is guaranteed, and there is a stretch provision that would allow the Suns to pay this off over five years. Thus, there is a real possibility that Paul may be packing his bags for another city this offseason.
The Bucks originally showed interest in signing Paul in the 2020 offseason following his year in Oklahoma City. Milwaukee instead opted to bring in Jrue Holiday from New Orleans. While Holiday has been spectacular in three seasons in Milwaukee, veteran leaders like Chris Paul rarely hit free agency. That being said, here are three reasons the Bucks should reignite their interest in CP3.
1) Few players are as lethal in the mid-range as Chris Paul is
With how the NBA has progressed over the past decade, certain teams are becoming awfully predictable.
Over the course of the 2022-23 regular season, teams like the Golden State Warriors and the Boston Celtics consistently relied on 3-point shooting to propel them to victories, with both averaging well over 41 attempts a night.
Heck, even with several “paint beasts” on the roster, Milwaukee leaned on 40.4 3-point shots a game, good enough for fourth-most in the league, per NBA.com/stats.
Although Paul has lessened his impact as a scorer in recent years, the Bucks would be thrilled to have a guy like Paul as another option inside the arc.
Paul shot 50.3 percent between 10 and 14 feet this past season. Even at age 38, Paul continues to soften opposing defenses with a confident mid-range stroke.
Pairing Paul alongside players like Jrue Holiday, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Brook Lopez, and (tentatively) Khris Middleton would make for a well-oiled machine in Milwaukee. Antetokounnmpo and Lopez are among the league’s best down low, and Holiday and Middleton have certainly become capable high-volume shooters alongside them.
Paul’s addition would mean every area of the floor is a threat for the Bucks. Plus, a player of his caliber would bump a scorer like Grayson Allen to a bench unit that is in dire need of high-powered shooting.