But San Antonio isn’t the only team he wants to hear more from in free agency.
The Clippers have recently become “nervous” about the reports that San Antonio will make a big push to get Paul and that the point guard has interest in talking to and possibly joining the Spurs, said one executive who was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.
Paul also has plans to talk with the Houston Rockets and Denver Nuggets, one executive said.
The Rockets could near max cap space by trading Ryan Anderson or Eric Gordon and either Trevor Ariza and Lou Williams. Obviously, Paul would justify dumping any combination of those players. But James Harden played so well at point guard. There’d be diminishing returns with Paul, which should concern Paul if he’s seeking a better team.
The Nuggets would have max cap space if they let Danilo Gallinari walk. They have a promising young core led by Nikola Jokic that could break out at any time. Paul could arrive in Denver as the team is ascending anyway and receive outsized credit. But this is still an unproven team that, even with Paul, could be years from being ready to truly contend for a title.
The Spurs remain the primary threat to the Clippers, who surely hope Jerry West fortifies their bid to re-sign Paul and Blake Griffin. But San Antonio faces major hurdles in clearing max space, which would still mean offering Paul less than he can get in L.A.
If I were the Clippers, the Spurs in particular wouldn’t terrify me. The sheer volume of suitors and the possibility one emerges as desirable to Paul would strike fear, though.