The Minnesota Timberwolves Should Still Trade for Chris Paul
Written by Nick Nagel for ESPN 99.1
Yet again, this question comes up, and yet again, the answer is YES! The Minnesota Timberwolves should absolutely trade for Chris Paul! In a March 6th article written by Timberwolves’ Digital Content Manager, Kyle Ratke, new President of Basketball Operations, Gersson Rosas said, “there’s going to be a tangible change, and this market is going to feel it. We’re going to question the norm in everything we do.” A move to acquire Chris Paul would definitely be out of the norm for the Minnesota Irrelevants, and it would be a great move.
Since the Houston Rockets traded Chris Paul to the Oklahoma City Thunder, they haven’t held back on the fact that they want to part ways with Paul. It is not an easy task trying to shop Paul, either. The 34-year-old point guard has a hefty contract with around 3-years, $124 million remaining on it. Not too many teams are willing to take a chance on Paul, even given his label as one of the greatest point guards of all time. The Wolves should definitely be the team to take that chance. With only one playoff appearance in fifteen years, it’s time to get off the “hope our young players work out” train, and go get a motivated veteran with something to prove, even if it’s going to cost some money.
Despite the questionable contract, Chris Paul still has a lot of good basketball left in him. The nine-time All-Star averaged 15.6 points and 8.2 assists per game last season. In his time in Houston, I believe that James Harden held CP3 back from the way he usually plays. When James Harden was off the floor last season, Paul averaged 22.5 points and 12.5 assists per 36 minutes. James Harden is a ball-dominant guard who Paul did not really gel with. Chris Paul is still an elite floor general that can control the tempo of the game. Adding him with some of the young talents in Minnesota would be great for the Wolves.
It’s obvious, the Timberwolves are stuck in neutral. Adding Paul would open up a lot of opportunities for many players on that team, especially Karl Anthony-Towns. Chris Paul is great with a quality big man. In New Orleans, Paul made David West into an All-Star. Likewise, with the Clippers, CP3 maxed out DeAndre Jordan, making him an All-Star in 2017. Karl Anthony-Towns is already an established All-Star that could use a guard like Chris Paul to help him reach his full potential. With the way Towns plays, he and Paul would be an elite pair in the pick and pop/roll game. This duo would be one of the best the franchise has ever seen and one of the better ones in the league. Adding an all-time great point guard to the Wolves would also sell tickets and make them relevant. Relevancy has been hard to come by for the Wolves ever since the Jimmy Butler debacle, which was, for the most part, negative relevancy. If Rosas really wants to show some change in Minnesota, trading for Chris Paul would be a great start.
It’s time for the Wolves to move on from Andrew Wiggins. The 2014 #1 overall pick has been two things for the Wolves: underwhelming and inconsistent. Wiggins has not lived up to his 5-year, $147 million contract extension Minnesota gave him in 2017. If Gersson Rosas can somehow swap these contracts and acquire Paul, this would be a win for the T-Wolves.
Whether you want this to happen or not, you can’t deny that this would be a great move for the overall market. More tickets would be sold and more national attention would come the Timberwolves’ way. For basketball purposes, this would be a great move for them as well. Chris Paul is not in a Carmelo Anthony situation. He has a lot of high-level basketball in his tank, three years worth at least. You can’t ignore the fact that he is getting older, but without James Harden hogging the ball, we could see a final burst of life in Chris Paul’s home stretch of his Hall of Fame career, possibly in a Wolves jersey, too.