3 reasons the Phoenix Suns boldly waived Chris Paul.
2. Chris Paul wasn’t able to be moved via trade
This is news Paul himself won’t want to hear, although it shouldn’t surprise him. The list of teams who want a player who will be 40-years-old on May 6th, 2025 is not long. Making over $30 million this season and next was not only a deterrent because of the risks of paying that much money to an ageing player, but because the new CBA has hamstrung most teams.
The only organizations with cap space are those such as the San Antonio Spurs and Houston Rockets. Teams in the middle of complete rebuilds who Paul, at this stage of his career, would have had no interest in playing with anyway. That street went both ways though, as they don’t have a need for him either.
Cool as it may have been to have Paul show Victor Wembanyama the ropes in his maiden NBA season, he would have seen the final buzzer go off on a career in a small market where making the playoffs wasn’t even likely. That’s not how he wants to go out, but the teams who could have done with him, like the Los Angeles Lakers or Dallas Mavericks, couldn’t make a trade work.
A swap with another superstar guard on a massive contract, Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers, would have been interesting. But again, there was no incentive for the Trail Blazers to engage in such a deal. Why give up the best player in franchise history for an even older guard, and who only pushes the direction of the organization sideways?
The sad reality then is that although this does save the Suns money, they were never going to get a deal for Paul via trade anyway. He may have been the President of the Player’s Association who oversaw even larger contracts for star players, but in the end it was that mammoth number associated with Paul that meant he couldn’t get sent to another contender.