Last summer, Chris Paul was about to make a big decision for the rest of his NBA career – choosing the right team on where to possibly contend for a title. Two days before free agency began, the Houston Rockets traded for Chris Paul in a blockbuster move that would send guys like Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams, Sam Dekker and a 2018 first-rounder to the Clippers. While the Rockets are now at the top of the Western Conference and are playing really well, one can’t help but think if he went to another contender in San Antonio.
Looking back, the Spurs is a viable spot for Paul as well. They have a great coach in Gregg Popovich, a budding superstar in Kawhi Leonard, reliable vets, and a great system in place conducive for Chris Paul’s abilities. However, one big factor changed Chris Paul’s mind in terms of considering San Antonio. Sam Amick from USA today sheds light on what factored to Paul’s decision:
“Chris is talking about his free agency options and he essentially, I’m paraphrasing, but he basically says, you know, that everything he’s heard is that Pop is probably only going to be around for a couple more years in terms of coaching and that was a concern for a guy like Chris that, you know, I think he had a comment about how the Spurs just aren’t the Spurs without Pop. And that’s been stuck in my head not only because of Chris, but even look ahead to next summer I, you know, just kinda high level free agents and how they might look at that situation, you know ‘cause everybody knows that he’s a huge X factor out there.”
If Gregg Popovich retired today, he’ll still considered as one of the greatest basketball coaches of all time and Chris Paul would’ve liked the idea to be coached by him. However, he chose to go play with this MVP candidate (in his prime) instead. Only time will tell if Chris Paul made the right decision or not. One thing’s for sure, he certainly needs to at least reach the conference finals first to have a chance at a title.