Chris Paul, Quickly

USA TODAY Sports

I suppose it'd be weird to leave any sort of Chris Paul stuff completely out of our off-season coverage because (a) he's an unrestricted free agent, and (b) the whole thing where he played in New Orleans for six years. So let's get it out of the way.

I'd be shocked, of course, if Paul didn't start next season as a Clipper. He turned down a 3 year, $60M extension, and L.A. crashed rather ignominiously out of the playoffs after failing to match their achievements of a year ago (and with The Finals conceivably in sight, post-Westbrook injury). But Los Angeles can now turn around and offer him 5 years, $108M, as well as the opportunity to personally select his next head coach. And they will.

On the flip side, while it seems ridiculous to imagine New Orleans spurning the league's best point guard out of hand, Paul's 28 and would be 33 at the end of another max. The Pelicans, you'll recall, may already have a max (albeit a minimax) invested in some very questionable knees.

In terms of the Paul market, the Hornets can make room for a max deal in a number of ways; Houston can also maneuver deals around to do it. Depending on how they play the Al Horford situation, Atlanta could snag some combination of Paul, Dwight Howard, and Josh Smith. Any one else -- including New York, the original Chris Paul destination of choice -- would need to convince him to take a pay cut in his prime.

Chris Paul talk strikes me as largely pointless at this stage, but I'm willing to be convinced otherwise. Your thoughts?

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