Following the blockbuster trade between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets that saw All-NBA Point Guards Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook flip teams, there was a lot of speculation that the Thunder would try to flip Chris Paul and his huge contract to another team. Though the rumors around the league point to the Thunder keeping Paul on the roster, one potential trade continues to intrigue me: Chris Paul to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The main hiccup with such a deal is Chris Paul’s large contract. Getting Chris Paul to Minnesota would likely cost current starting point guard Jeff Teague, who is scheduled to make $19 million and another combination of contracts to get close to Chris Paul’s massive $38.5 million salary. To make taking on that massive of a salary for an aging player feasible, the Thunder would have to give up some draft capital to the Timberwolves to make the trade work.
Bringing in a player of Paul’s caliber can maximize the current Timberwolves roster. Chris Paul would give the Timberwolves a legitimate point guard and a leader in a locker room that seemed to be missing one last season throughout the tumultuous end to the Jimmy Butler era. Though he is on the downside of his career, Chris Paul is still a good NBA point guard. He is a great playmaker and shooter and plays good defense while also providing leadership in the locker room and on the court. His combination of high basketball IQ and leadership that propelled him to stardom in the NBA can translate perfectly into a mentor for the young Timberwolves core of Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins.
Bringing in Chris Paul would be a financially risky move but would provide Minnesota with a legitimate star who can maximize the players on the roster. Not only could Chris Paul help push Minnesota well into the West playoff race, but he will also certainly assist in the development of the young core of Towns and Wiggins, helping form Minnesota into a competitive team for years after he leaves.