Warriors’ $30 Million Star Drawing Interest from Clippers: Report

Warriors' Stephen Curry and Chris Paul

Getty Stephen Curry #30 and Chris Paul #3 of the Golden State Warriors at Crypto.com Arena.

Is reunion in the cards for Golden State Warriors star Chris Paul and the Los Angeles Clippers this summer?

The Clippers have joined the list of teams interested in signing Paul if the Warriors waive him, according to NBA insider Marc Stein.

“The Clippers, I’m told, should be added to the list of teams that could emerge as a suitor for potential free agent Chris Paul.

Caveats are immediately required in this situation since Paul might not even make it to free agency if the Warriors decide next month to keep him or trade him to a team that wants to keep him,” Stein wrote in his Substack newsletter on May 26.

The Warriors have until June 28 to decide on Paul’s future. They can go three different routes: fully guarantee Paul’s $30 million salary for next season, waive him or trade him.

Stein also reported that the Warriors can push back the June 28 deadline to July but they need Paul to sign off such move.

Paul, 39, is coming off the worst season of his career moving on to a bench role after starting in his first 18 seasons in the NBA. He averaged under 30 minutes for the first time. But Paul made the most of his opportunity, producing 9.2 points, a team-high 6.8 assists, 3.9 rebounds and 1.2 steals in 26.4 minutes for the Warriors.

Chris Paul Could Be the Odd Man Out

With Golden State expected to cut its losses after spending a record-high $384 million in in salaries to a roster that failed to reach the playoffs, Paul could be the odd man out due to his staggering salary for a bench role.

“Our Plan 1, or 1A, is actually we’d like to be out of the tax, and we think that we have a way to do that,” Warriors owner Joe Lacob said on “The TK Show” with Tim Kawakami on February 15. “That kind of is the plan, not just under the second apron. I’ll tell you why that’s important, because the truth is that we need to be out of the tax two years out of the next four, below the tax line, in order to get this repeater thing off our books. We don’t want to be a repeater. It’s just so prohibitive, not to say we wouldn’t do it if we had to, but you’ve gotta look at what the downside is to doing that.”

Warriors general manager Mike Dunleavy Jr. also left the door open for Paul not returning despite their interest in bringing him back.

“I think admittedly he probably wished he had a larger role and could help the team a little bit more, but I think moving forward because of his production and the guy can still do it and what he means to winning and all that stuff, we certainly have interest in bringing him back,” Dunleavy told reporters during his exit interview on April 18.

“But like the puzzle stuff, we got to look at and figure out and see and there’s definitely a viable path to do that, but we’re not really down the road yet of like specifically what we can and can’t do.”

Spurs, Lakers Also Interested

The Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs have also interest in Paul if he enters free agency, Stein earlier reported.

“The Spurs and the Lakers keep coming up as potential suitors for the Warriors’ Chris Paul if Paul becomes a free agent this offseason,” Stein wrote. “Paul’s $30 million salary for next season becomes fully guaranteed on June 28 if Golden State does not waive him … or if the Warriors trade him to a team that decides to keep him. The Warriors, league sources say, are currently evaluating those options.”

Bleacher Report’s salary cap expert Eric Pincus also shared that Paul to the Lakers is a real possibility.

“Chris Paul will probably be a free agent,” Pincus said on “Buha’s Block” on May 20. “There is a reasonable chance he gets traded or just cut by the Warriors. LeBron [James] and [Paul] obviously have a close relationship. There is a universe where the Lakers sign Chris Paul. I don’t think it’s outrageous.”

The Spurs, meanwhile, are looking for a point guard to pair with their generational franchise cornerstone Victor Wembanyama.