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Chris Paul's Preference For Next NBA Team is Revealed

Chris Paul would reportedly prefer to play in Los Angeles during the 2022-23 season, according to ESPN's Brian Windhorst.

During an appearance on Monday's (June 19) episode of Get Up, Windhorst said that Paul, who played for the Los Angeles Clippers for six of his 18 NBA seasons, would prefer to either return to the franchise or join the Los Angeles Lakers after being traded by the Phoenix Suns to the Washington Wizards on Sunday (June 18) as part of a pending deal.

“I think Chris Paul was happy to play with the Phoenix Suns this year, but if he wasn’t going to play in Phoenix, he would prefer to be with his family in LA as he nears the end of his career. That means the Lakers and Clippers," Windhorst said.

Windhorst acknowledged that Paul is close friends with Lakers forward LeBron James, as well as the team's need at the point guard position, but said he believes the Clippers are "the better fit" for the 12-time All-Star.

“Even though he’s close with LeBron James and the Lakers potentially have an open job at starting point guard, I think the Clippers –– based on what I can glean –– are the team that may be the better fit for him,” Windhorst said. 

Paul's contract will elevate from $15 million guaranteed "to about the full $30 million" following the conclusion of the trade "in the coming days," according to Windhorst.

Washington reportedly acquired Paul, 38, with the consideration that he would be traded to an NBA Finals contender while being able to receive compensation, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported.

"Part of the reason for holding up full completion on the Wizards-Suns trade will be to allow Washington to field offers from third teams that would give Chris Paul a chance to land with a contender, sources tell ESPN," Wojnarowski tweeted.

During an appearance on the Pat McAfee Show Monday, Paul said his son texted him about the trade while he was flying from Los Angeles to New York ahead of a Good Morning America appearance Monday morning.

"I was flying yesterday to New York from L.A. and I got a text from my son, that's how I found out," Paul said. "It is what it is. I was sitting there, I showed my wife because we were in the air and it was, 'alright, we've got to figure out what's next.'"

Paul initially said he was "surprised" by the move during his earlier appearance on Good Morning America, while also acknowledging that he learned about the move during his flight to New York.

Paul was included in a trade with the Washington Wizards centered around All-Star guard Bradley Beal, league sources told Wojnarowski on Sunday (June 18). Landry Shamet and several second-round picks, which includes "multiple pick swaps," were also sent to the Wizards in exchange for Beal.

Paul spent the past three seasons with the Suns after being acquired in a trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder. The 12-time All-Star averaged 15.1 points, 9.5 assists, 4.4 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game during his tenure in Phoenix, which included winning a franchise-record 64 games during the 2021-22, as well as making his only career NBA Finals in 2021.

Paul was selected by the then-New Orleans Hornets at No. 4 overall in the 2005 NBA Draft and spent his first seven seasons with the franchise before being traded to the Los Angeles Clippers in 2011. The former Wake Forest standout also spent two seasons with the Houston Rockets (2017-19) and one season with the Thunder.

Paul currently ranks third in NBA history with 11,501 career assists trailing only Basketball Hall of Famers John Stockton (15,806) and Jason Kidd (12,091) and 37th in career points with 21,755.

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