Trading the aging Spurs mainstay could also help create the cap space for Paul. He can't coach forever and could persuade San Antonio's front office to make an all-in type of move for Paul.
Paul's 12.8 nERD was the 13th-most among National Basketball Association players in the 2016-17 season. Plenty of impact players will be available in free agency, and the latest rumors indicate that some big names could be switching teams.
Los Angeles will have quite a few decisions to make this offseason. At 32, Paul is eligible for a five-year deal worth an estimated $205 million from Clippers owner Steve Ballmer this summer, thanks in part to rule changes in the NBA's new labor pact that are more favorable to stars in Paul's age bracket.
With their limited salary cap space, the Spurs will not be able to accommodate Paul unless he lowers his contract demand.
Miami already has an incredible team, and they can only get better with Chris Paul as their starting point guard. Even then, the team would have to hope that Tony Parker also opts to retire, or it could try to trade Danny Green and/or Pau Gasol without taking back comparable salaries. However, Paul has to take a massive pay cut in order to play for the Pelicans.
The possibility of teaming up with Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins could be enough for Paul to think about returning to New Orleans. If the veteran Spaniard opts into the second year of his US$31 million (AU$41 million) contract, the Spurs will have less than US$10 million ($AU13 million) to spend in free agency.
Chris Paul, pictured in Game 7 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals at Staples Center on April 30, 2017 in Los Angeles, could leave the L.A. Clippers for the San Antonio Spurs as a free agent. It's also been reported that both sides have mutual interest.
But as Stein mentions, the Spurs' cap situation isn't a friendly one. Paul moving to San Antonio still has a small chance of happening but with the Clippers reportedly concerned about the Spurs' interest, it could is very possible.
League sources told ESPN that the Spurs are exploring options in what could be a tricky task for the franchise to form a star trio in having Paul team up with Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge in San Antonio.