Veteran guard faces career-first situation if waived by the Golden State Warriors

Golden State Warriors v Dallas Mavericks
Golden State Warriors v Dallas Mavericks / Sam Hodde/GettyImages

Across a 19-year career to date, it's fair to say Chris Paul has experienced most of what the NBA has to give. The latest of those was a season with the Golden State Warriors, having spent years as a prominent rival of the franchise.

Paul had a solid season for the Warriors, accepting a sixth man role where he led the league's fifth-ranked bench unit in an otherwise disappointing year for the franchise. Now, the 39-year-old faces some uncertainty on his future, but that could also open up the sort of flexibility Paul has never been afforded in his career.

If waived by the Golden State Warriors, Chris Paul would become a free agent for the very first time in his storied career

The 12-time All-Star has a $30 million non-guaranteed contract for next season. While he was effective for Golden State this season, paying that salary for a reserve isn't smart business, particularly for a team looking to shed money to get under the second-tax apron.

The Warriors will have until June 28 to decide if they want to waive Paul's contract, with that appearing to be the likely outcome unless the franchise guarantees all or part of his deal to utilize in a trade.

If Golden State do waive Paul, it will open up the path for him to become a free agent for the very first time heading into his 20th NBA season. That's quite an extraordinary sitaution, particularly given he's played for six different franchises.

Each of Paul's stops have come via trade, starting in December 2011 when he was moved from New Orleans to the LA Clippers. He signed a five-year extension prior to the start of the 2013-14 season, but was then traded to the Hosuton Rockets in June 2017.

Following another extension in Houston, Paul was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder where he played one season before another trade to the Phoenix Suns. He signed what's likely to be his last big extension, yet was moved to the Washington Wizards who on-traded him to Golden State last offseason.

That's Paul's career, one that has not experienced free agency and the complete freedom of his next destination. If things play out as predicted, he'll get that chance this offseason with the hope of still chasing an elusive NBA championship.