Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul is reportedly on his way to the Phoenix Suns, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski — though the future Hall of Famer may have preferred a trade to one of his former teams instead.
According to The New York Post's Marc Berman, Paul's first choice was the LA Clippers, partially because the franchise had parted ways with former coach Doc Rivers.
Rivers' role with the team was reportedly one factor that led to Paul requesting a trade from Los Angeles in 2017.
Paul's addition to LA's current roster would have been a welcome one. The Clippers are in desperate need of a playmaker, and Paul is still among the best in the NBA. Alongside Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, there's no telling how efficient this team would have looked on both sides of the ball.
That said, the Clippers weren't exactly in the best position to acquire a player with such a large salary. Unless LA was willing to part with George, the Clippers would have been stuck giving up key role players, many of whom are signed to team-friendly contracts.
Instead, Paul will join Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton in Phoenix — a team that now looks poised to return to the postseason for the first time since 2010.
The Suns narrowly missed the playoffs this past season despite going 8-0 in the seeding games. The team finished with a 34-39 record, tied with the Memphis Grizzlies and less than a game back of the Portland Trail Blazers, who earned the No. 8 seed.
The Pacific Division now looks to be among the most formidable in basketball, as the Clippers, Suns, Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors will all be pursuing the Western Conference's top seeds.