Chris Paul says he found out on flight to New York he was traded
Chris Paul has a new book coming out — “Sixty-One: Life Lessons from Papa, on and Off the Court” — that details the impact CP3’s grandfather had on his life and the Winston-Salem community. Paul was flying to New York on Sunday for a guest appearance on Good Morning America to promote his book.
That’s when he found out he was traded to the Washington Wizards for Bradley Beal, he said on the show.
“I was surprised too... In this league anything can happen, so you just try to find out what’s next.”
What’s next for Paul is either a trade — with the Clippers being the frontrunners — or for Washington to waive him, making him a free agent (where he would be free to sign with any team, but signs would point to the Lakers).
Paul’s possible trade had been rumored for a couple of days, but with a new CBA coming explicitly designed to stop the formation of highly-expensive superteams, some wondered exactly how the Suns would make it work. Phoenix decided that with Kevin Durant and Devin Booker already on the roster, it would be flirting with the new “second apron” that severely limits team building for rosters more than $17.5 million over the luxury tax line, and if they were going to go over that line, they might as well just smash through the barrier and face the penalties head-on, reports Brian Windhorst at ESPN (subscription required).
The Suns have five players on the books — Durant, Booker, Beal, Deandre Ayton and Cameron Payne (who could be let go to save $4.5 million, but the Suns likely keep him according to the report) — and with just those five are only about $10 million below the second apron tax line. Which is why Windhorst says the Suns will most likely work hard to re-sign their free agents including Josh Okogie, Torrey Craig, Jock Landale, Damion Lee, Terrence Ross and Bismack Biyombo. Another move could be trading Ayton to bring in multiple solid role players, although the Suns have found little market for Ayton’s services so far (he has three years, with $207.7 million remaining on his contract).