The San Antonio Spurs were expected to pursue soon-to-be free agent Chris Paul this weekend when free agency began.
However, in breaking news Wednesday morning, it turns out Paul decided to opt into his contract for next season and since he made the Los Angeles Clippers aware that he would sign with the Houston Rockets in free agency, this allowed the Clippers to get some assets in return for Paul through a trade, rather than losing him for nothing in free agency, per the Vertical.
According to the deal that is presently constructed, the Clippers will get Patrick Beverley, Sam Dekker, Lou Williams and a 2018 protected first round pick in exchange for Paul.
There might still be other pieces moving in the deal or it might be made after July 1 to make the financial numbers work.
However, looking to next season, the Rockets with Paul are expected to be close to $1.8 million over the salary cap, which will only allow them to upgrade their roster with the use of the mid-level exception for $8.4 million and the Bi-Annual exception of $3.2 million, barring any other significant trades.
For the Clippers, if they kept Blake Griffin’s cap hold and renounced all other free agents, they would be near $6.8 million over the salary cap. If the Clippers allowed all their free agents to be renounced, then the Clippers would have close to $22.4 million in cap space.
For the Spurs, Saturday, July 1 will be an interesting time to see which types of free agents they pursue now that Paul is off the market. If San Antonio is still seeking a point guard, they’ve already been linked to George Hill and Derrick Rose.
Saturday, the Spurs’ opening communications in free agency should show which area the team is targeting in trying to upgrade their roster.