After six seasons with the Los Angeles Clippers, Chris Paul will hit the free agent market on July 1 where it's likely he will do one of two things: Re-sign with the Clippers for a five-year deal worth more than $200 million, or pursue another opportunity elsewhere for less guaranteed money and a shorter term with a team like the San Antonio Spurs -- a move that has gained traction in recent days as reports have emerged there is mutual interest between Paul and San Antonio.
The Spurs are reportedly exploring the feasibility of a massive acquisition of Paul, but the odds of the stars aligning for San Antonio reportedly aren't realistic according to Adrian Wojnarowski, who appeared on CBS Sports Radio on Sunday with Gary Parrish to discuss where Paul might land.
"Not that I see," Wojnarowski said of Paul's chances of ending up with the Spurs. "I don't know where that came from. I've spent a lot of time around the Spurs this spring. They would have to just tear up that entire payroll. It's almost unlike anything the Spurs would've done or would do to even have a chance at him. I mean, they'd have to really gut the roster. And to do that for a 30-plus year old point guard, who has a couple great years left, there's no question -- I think there's more pressure on the Clippers to have to re-sign him than for the Spurs to turn their whole franchise over to make a run at him.
"Listen, Chris Paul, financially, the difference with him staying in L.A. and to get paid, I'd have a hard time imaging him leaving there," continued Wojnarowski. "There's so much money for him to be made and at that Los Angeles market, just in terms of his marketing endorsements, I still think they're a pretty overwhelming favorite to re-sign him."
Because of the money at stake, Paul would have to leave millions on the table to chase an opportunity outside of Los Angeles, uprooting his whole life including his family in the process. Plus, the 32-year-old, by the end of his upcoming contract, might not be guaranteed hundreds of millions like what is likely to be on the table later this summer.
If Paul wants to chase a ring alongside Kawhi Leonard in San Antonio, the idea, at least in theory, is certainly an intriguing one. He could provide a veteran presence for a young core and step in for the aging Tony Parker while showing youngster Dejounte Murray the ropes in the process. But with the current lack of salary cap flexibility for the Spurs and the ability for the Clippers to re-sign him to a super-max extension he helped negotiate in his leadership capacity as president of the NBPA, the likelihood, at least at this stage, is that we'll see Paul inking with the Clippers in free agency later this summer.