Spurs might be ready to chase Clippers' Paul

Backup point guard Patty Mills is headed towards free agency, and Tony Parker is no longer one of the best players at his position. However, his struggles in the playoffs, especially against the Golden State Warriors, put his readiness as a starting point guard in question.

New York Knicks guard Derrick Rose (25) directs his team during the first quarter against the San Antonio Spurs at Madison Square Garden. But he still needs more time to develop and fully learn the ropes before he could fill Parker's place. He averaged 18.1 points per game and 9.2 assists, after averaging a double-double in each of the previous three seasons.

Paul could be looking to spend the end of his career with a winning franchise and that possible destination could be the San Antonio Spurs.

Paul is technically still under contract with the Los Angeles Clippers, but has always been expected to exercise the early termination option in his deal to hit unrestricted free agency this offseason.

The Spurs are the biggest threat to the Clippers since there is reported mutual interest between Chris Paul and San Antonio.

Los Angeles will have quite a few decisions to make this offseason.

Denver will have cap space of around $34 million if Danilo Gallinari opts out of his contract.

The 32-year-old Paul is eligible for a five-year deal worth an estimated $205 million from Clippers owner Steve Ballmer this summer because of the NBA's most recent labor contract favoring stars in Paul's age bracket, according to ESPN. After being acquired in a blockbuster trade from New Orleans, Paul immediately made the Clippers a serious championship contender.

The Spurs' cap picture would look decidedly more favorable if former All-Star big man Pau Gasol decides to decline his $16.2 million player option for next season.

When Paul is healthy, he's still as good as nearly any point guard in the National Basketball Association. He can turn down a $24.3 million salary for next season to hit the open market, giving himself a chance to score a lucrative long-term deal from Los Angeles or another organization.

The Spurs could also try to swing a sign-and-trade deal with the Clippers, if the latter team were convinced that it could not keep Paul, but it would still have to shed some useful players.

The challenge, though, with the Spurs is the lack of salary cap flexibility.

Though the Spurs are now strapped for cap space, the Clippers view them as a legitimate threat to sign away the nine-time All-Star, according to the report.

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