A Mavs Trade Rumor For Chris Paul? Here's The Real Fit

Mike Fisher

Chris Paul to the Dallas Mavericks? A fine idea ... a decade ago.

But today? There are 44 million reasons to tap the brakes on a report from Brandon "Scoop B" Robinson of Heavy.com that Dallas joins the Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers, New York Knicks, Utah Jazz and Phoenix Suns among his pursuers.

Over the years, before and after Dallas' 2011 NBA title, Mark Cuban's Mavs have chased Paul; that's how long he's been an elite point guard, and this year, toiling for the Oklahoma City Thunder? Yes, even at age 35, still impactful.

But while there are reasons to want Paul on your team (and reasons for the rebuilding Thunder to swap him out), those who are pairing Dallas with Paul, 35, are ignoring two issues.

One, he's scheduled to make around in $41 million in 2020-21, and has a player option for $44 million the season after that. We've learned that cap space isn't the be-all in future pursuits (Giannis or whomever) ... but $44 million is an undeniable obstacle.

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Two, the reports we read continue to omit the trade-match issue. Maybe the Bucks should sell the farm in trade if it's the way to keep Giannis happy. Maybe the Sixers should, too, just to clear the deck. Maybe the Knicks should Knick.

But in Dallas, using the most viable example:

-The fewest amount of players the Mavs could send OKC to make the money work would be three.

-One of those three would have to be Tim Hardaway Jr.

-Hardaway Jr.'s involvement would be dependent on him opting in.

-In addition to Hardaway being sacrificed in such a trade, to make it all work money-wise, Deron Wright could also be involved. (Viable). And so would Dwight Powell. (Not a sacrifice everyone at Mavs HQ would endorse.)

That's two-plus key pieces - to be used on the court or to be used in better future deals - for the expensive rental of a fine player who be 37 years old while still collecting his $44 million from Dallas.

The Mavs covet talent and in one or both of the next two offseasons will chase it hard. "I'm a buyer,'' Mavs owner Mark Cuban tells DBcom. But Chris Paul to Dallas creates almost as many problems at it solves, reason enough to tap the brakes on buying the story - and on buying official Chris Paul Mavericks jerseys just yet.