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#pounditSaturday, May 18, 2024

Chris Paul could return to his former team?

Chris Paul in a Suns jersey

Apr 26, 2022; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (3) against the New Orleans Pelicans during game five of the first round for the 2022 NBA playoffs at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Paul might potentially be in for a little Lob City 2.0.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported this week that Paul would be “very coveted” by his old team, the LA Clippers, if he were to become available. Wojnarowski adds that Paul still keeps an offseason home in Los Angeles.

The 12-time All-Star Paul spent the last three seasons on the Phoenix Suns, but the team is now reportedly weighing his future. An outright release is possible (before Paul’s contract for next year becomes fully guaranteed on June 28). But a trade or a return to Phoenix on a smaller contract are some other potential options on the table.

Paul was on the Clippers from 2011-17, ushering in an thrilling era of high-flying basketball along with former co-star Blake Griffin. But while the team had a number of division titles and 55-win seasons during Paul’s tenure, it did not translate to success in the postseason. The Clippers never once made it beyond the second round, and Paul found himself injured during multiple playoff runs in LA.

During the ensuing Kawhi Leonard-Paul George era, the Clippers have mostly lacked an effective true point guard. Russell Westbrook did well for them after joining in February but is a free agent this summer and may have priced himself out of the team’s range with his terrific performance at the end of the season. As for personnel, many figures from the Paul era are still on the Clippers. That includes owner Steve Ballmer, president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank, and coach Tyronn Lue (who was an assistant for the Clippers when Paul was there).

Perhaps most important for Paul is that Doc Rivers (the one he seemed to have the most beef with in LA) is no longer with the team. But regardless, the Clippers may face competition from a major rival for the 38-year-old Paul’s services this time around.

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