2013 NBA Free Agency: Did Chris Paul Really Make the Best Decision Staying Put?

By Ryan Heckman

After all the speculation and trade scenarios involving the Los Angeles Clippers this offseason, the top priority of the organization has come to fruition. They’ve got their man in Chris Paul and he’s not going anywhere.

From the perspective of the All Star point guard, though, did he make the right decision? Well, let’s take a look at the prospective teams that had anywhere from minimal interest all the way to a great amount of interest in Paul.

A team like the New York Knicks has been in discussion with Paul’s name for a while, and if they were to do anything involving him it would have had to be a trade. Considering where the Clippers are going and what the Knicks had to offer, they were pretty much out of the question.

What about the possibility that Paul would be traded to the Los Angeles Lakers and team up with Dwight Howard that route? Playing with Kobe Bryant as well, they could have had their fair share of a title run in 2013. But, beyond that, there’s not much future for the Lakers.

The Atlanta Hawks were an interesting suitor, as they have an incredible amount of cap room and could have easily paired Paul with another star, if not two great players. All of that is speculation at this point, because nobody knows who the Hawks would have ended up with. Their roster was nearly cleaned out at the beginning of free agency, and Paul would have at least liked some security.

Then there was the prospect of the Dallas Mavericks making a play for Paul. Joining Dirk Nowitzki in Dallas may not have been a bad idea, but who else did Mark Cuban plan on pairing with them? Would they have been able to get rid of a couple of the contracts in effort to bring in another star player? Again, all speculation at this point.

Lastly, of course, we have the Clippers. Paul clearly has a solidified chemistry with both big men DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin. The two of them are very young and have a lot of run left in them. Los Angeles also has quite a few veterans that can do a lot of different things. Now with J.J. Redick on board they will have another pure scorer on the roster along with Jamal Crawford.

So, when looking at all of the options it becomes a bit clearer that Paul wound up making a good decision. He went where there was a bit more security in what the franchise was doing and where a new direction could be in place with Doc Rivers now coaching.

The one thing we can say about Paul after all is said and done is this: He had no option in joining the Clippers to begin with. He was traded, knowing that his contract would eventually soon expire and he could leave no questions asked. This summer he chose to stay in Los Angeles and sign a long-term contract, reinstating his loyalty to the franchise. Maybe another big name free agent in L.A. should take note of that.

Ryan Heckman is a Senior NBA Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter  @ryanmheckman, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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