Here’s why a Toronto Raptors/Chris Paul trade wouldn’t work out

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - MARCH 29: Chris Paul #3 of the Phoenix Suns (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - MARCH 29: Chris Paul #3 of the Phoenix Suns (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors are not the only team that is eyeing some systemic change in the offseason following a disappointing playoff (or play-in) exit. The Phoenix Suns’ roster has some limitations, and they showed up as David Adelman and the Denver Nuggets beat them in six games.

With most of their first-round picks in the possession of the Brooklyn Nets, the best way for Phoenix to improve maybe by subtraction. By getting rid of Deandre Ayton or Chris Paul, both of whom are owed a ton of money next season, Phoenix might become more financially flexible.

With all of the rumors related to Fred VanVleet potentially leaving town (and potentially succeeding Paul in Phoenix), the notion of bringing in CP3 as a high-end stopgap that can keep this team competitive might appeal to some segment of the fanbase. After all, he is a floor-raiser that has dragged worse teams to the playoffs.

While Paul is a trendy name and a future Hall of Famer, trading for him would bring forth a whole new set of problems for the Raptors. He would be a fantastic player, but the timelines simply are not matching up for the two parties. Toronto needs to look elsewhere.

The Toronto Raptors should not acquire Chris Paul.

Paul is on the hook for a $30 million salary in the next two seasons, meaning that a player who is currently 38 years old will be getting paid the same money some are hesitant to pay VanVleet. Even if you don’t want to pay VanVleet, why would you give the older player and less effective scorer the same deal?

Paul is still effective, averaging 13.9 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 1.5 steals per game. However, all of those numbers are well below his career averages, and the odds of him starting to improve upon those figures while pushing 40 years old as a smaller point guard is basically unprecedented.

The Raptors need to find a sustainable approach to winning that can help them set the stage for a half-decade of dominance. Adding an ancient point guard like Paul that is owed a ton of money and is seeing his offensive skills decline may not be the best move for all parties.

Paul will make some team very happy, but he needs to go to a very unique situation that will allow him to use his talents to the best of his abilities. Toronto, both for competitive and financial reasons, is not that place.

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