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Why is nobody considering the possibility of Chris Paul joining LeBron in Cleveland?

437   //    27 Jun 2018, 11:40 IST

Golden State Warriors v Houston Rockets - Game Seven
Chris Paul found himself frustrated after a game seven loss to the Warriors

The future Hall of Fame point guard is currently missing the single most important gem from his pendant: an NBA championship. It's clear that should Chris Paul join LeBron James in the Eastern Conference, they would have an increased chance of winning it all. 

Also read: Reviewing LeBron James' Six NBA Finals Losses

Given the fact that LeBron carried this flawed Cavaliers side to the Finals itself, he almost single-handedly beat them in Game 1. Who knows how the series would have gone, had JR Smith not done the unthinkable with seconds left? 

CP3 can effectively carry the load on the offensive side of the floor, providing LeBron the much-needed support and more importantly, time to rest that he deserves. He has proven he's capable of being the perfect fit in any offensive style for most NBA teams. Besides the pair, no-one else made the Warriors appear beatable during last season's playoffs.

If Paul himself hadn't been injured in the latter stages of their series, you could argue things might have been different there too. 

Why would LeBron remain in Cleveland though? 

Joining the Lakers or Philadelphia 76ers will give him better odds of winning the championship. 

However, he cares a lot about his narrative and the way his legendary status will be portrayed once he eventually retires. The debate between himself and Michael Jordan is ever-present, though critics will always claim James jumped from his own ship in pursuit of championship rings, as opposed to building the team like MJ did. 

Given adequate support, he's capable of doing that. LeBron will prefer to play alongside mature players, who have experience in high-pressure situations against top teams. Both the aforementioned sides do not really have many of those players. They're youthful with potential aplenty, but not many valuable veterans or experienced heads.

Experience needed, but another successful trade is too

Kevin Love, Kyle Korver and Tristan Thompson are all experienced players - you know what you're getting with them. The biggest obstacle surrounding this move is the Cavaliers' salary cap. Jordan Clarkson and Korver himself are eating up on $20m, with shooting of 3/14 and 1/16 respectively during the NBA Finals. 

2018 NBA Finals - Game One
Clarkson had to wait patiently for regular minutes during the Finals and struggled for consistent shooting

Clarkson found himself a regular bench-warmer while George Hill and JR Smith barely shot 30% from the field, averaging single digit points-per-game. $34m allocated there, too. To create cap space for CP3, it's clear that the Cavs need to make another multi-player trade. 

If they manage this successfully and can acquire LeBron's friend in Chris Paul, they could cruise through the Eastern Conference whilst setting up another Finals encounter against the Warriors. The outcome might not be the same, either. 

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