Chris Paul the NBA team owner? Future Hall of Famer open to owning his hometown

Chris Paul is one of the oldest players in the NBA¬†at 39 years old. While he may have a year or two left in the tank to give a team some quality minutes, the future Hall of Fame guard is starting to think about his life after he’s done playing basketball. Whenever the day comes that he decides to retire, Paul still wants to be connected to the league, specifically by becoming an owner of an NBA franchise in the future.

During an interview with Forbes, Paul was asked if he had a specific team in mind that he would want to own.

“Charlotte is definitely home, but I’m open,” Paul said. “Especially if there’s expansion or something like that, I’m definitely open. I’ve been involved with the league for too long, from every aspect of it. Just knowing the game, understanding the GMs, player relations, all of the different entities, that’s definitely one of my goals. I want to own a team.”

Paul also said that he would like to own a WNBA team down the line. He wants to put all that knowledge he gained from being one of the best point guards of his generation, on top of being the president of the players’ union, into team ownership.

Paul is certainly not the first current NBA player who has talked about team ownership. LeBron James has been incredibly vocal about getting into team ownership in the NBA and has specifically pegged the expected expansion team in Las Vegas as where he would like to put his money. Given the close relationship Paul and James have, perhaps the two go in jointly with other partners to own the unnamed Las Vegas team whenever the NBA does decide to expand.

Or maybe Paul does decide to buy a stake in his hometown Hornets, who were recently sold by Michael Jordan in August 2023 for $3 billion. Jordan’s 13-year tenure with the Hornets could serve as a cautionary tale for current and former players who want to get into ownership, as Charlotte was incredibly unsuccessful during his reign. Over those 13 years, the Hornets — who were previously the Bobcats when Jordan purchased them — went 423-600, made the playoffs only three times, and did not win a single series. It’s a great example of how despite being considered the greatest men’s basketball player of all time, that greatness doesn’t immediately transfer over into everything else.

As far as the WNBA goes, the league just announced the inclusion of the Golden State Valkyries, which will be the 13th team in the league and will begin competition in 2025 in San Francisco at the Chase Center where the Warriors play. In 2026, the WNBA is also getting another team, this time north of the border in Toronto, and there have been talks about future teams added in the years to come. With the women’s game growing so quickly, Paul could have his pick of any of the new expansion teams, or join a current ownership group looking to sell or take on a new partner.

“Every year since I’ve been in the NBA I’ve been to a WNBA game,” Paul said. “I’m excited [about the WNBA’s future]because doing the union work, I’ve been involved in their union and just talking about ‘how can we grow their game, how can we do this or that,’ and they’ve just done it organically. People are finally starting to see just how amazing their game is. They have so many talented women, they play the game so smooth. Everything is really exciting and effortless, and I just think it’s going to continue to grow. And I want to be a part of it. I would love to own a WNBA team.”

Given Paul’s history of being involved in labor relations and a lengthy career that has seen a wide array of team owners and general managers, on paper, he would certainly make a great candidate for owning an NBA and WNBA team. He’s lauded for his leadership skills on the court and was able to turn a Phoenix Suns team that was once basement dwellers into playoff and championship contenders. In his lone season with the Oklahoma City Thunder, he helped lay the groundwork for a Shai Gilgeous-Alexander team that earned the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference this season. While those skills may be more transferable to coaching, something that Paul would also be great at, his ability to get the best out of his teammates and analyze talent would lend itself to team ownership and building a roster.

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