This offseason is the perfect opportunity for the Lakers to get Chris Paul. Los Angeles loses in the first round of the playoffs, and Paul plans to decline his player option. This move makes sense for both sides. Plus, it’s approaching 10 seasons since David Stern vetoed the originals trade.
The Lakers acquired Paul in December of 2011. However, David Stern did not allow the trade, and the Clippers got Paul days later.
“The General Manager [Dell Demps] was not authorized to make that trade,” Stern told Brian Berger on the Sports Business Radio Road Show.
The Clippers never missed the playoffs when Paul was their point guard. However, the Lakers went into a rebuild and didn’t make the postseason for six years.
Now it is 10 years later and this move makes sense for both sides. The Lakers need another ball-handler and Paul wants a new deal and a shot at a championship.
Paul is in a position to do so with the Phoenix Suns. However, if the Suns don’t win a championship, his run in Phoenix could be over. Phoenix is most likely going to extend Deandre Ayton and Mikal Bridges this summer. As a result, they might not be able to give Paul the contract he is seeking.
The Lakers are coming off of a first-round playoff exit to Paul and the Suns. Los Angeles knows they need to make some moves to get back to the NBA finals.
There are going to be plenty of players for Los Angeles to target this summer. However, Chris Paul joining the Lakers makes the most sense for a variety of reasons.
It’s no secret that Chris Paul and Lebron James are long-time friends. The two finally faced each other in a playoff series. Now it might be time for the two to share the same court for a full season.
James also plays his best with another ball handler on the court with him. The Lakers’ offense looked unbeatable in last season’s playoffs when James and Rajon Rondo were on the court together.
Paul will bring the best out of each player on the roster. It will be great for James because he won’t be in a position where he feels he will need to do everything.
Paul and James know they won’t be playing basketball forever. Both players are 36-years-old and want to leave the game on a positive note. Paul wants to finally win a ring and James wants to capture some more titles before he decides to call it a career.
The two have basically spent their entire career together. They have been in all-star games and won two Olympic Gold Medals together. It would mean much more if they were able to chase an NBA championship together for the same organization.
The Chris Paul Effect
Chris Paul brings leadership, accountability, and a winning mindset to every organization he plays for. Paul is a terrific leader and one of the smartest point guards of all-time. He knows how to bring out the best in every one of his teammates.
Paul is responsible for getting the Clippers, Thunder, and Suns into the playoffs. The Clippers were a laughing stock before Paul got there. However, the team never missed the playoffs while he was there.
Oklahoma City just traded Russell Westbrook and Paul George, and everybody thought they’d be a lottery team. Paul got them in the playoffs, and they took the Rockets to seven games.
The Suns also have not been to the playoffs in 10 years. Phoenix trades for Paul, and now they have the second-best record in the league and have a legit shot at a championship.
The Lakers are already one of the more talented teams in the league. However, Paul would bring accountability to that locker room and be the missing piece that gets them back to the finals.
Paul brings out the best in big men
Paul brings out the best in the big men. Look what he did for Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan in Los Angeles and what he’s currently doing for DeAndre Ayton. Ayton is playing the best basketball of his life in the NBA playoffs.
The Lakers pride themselves on being a big team that can protect and dominate in the paint. Paul would be the perfect fit to bring out the best in both Anthony Davis and Andre Drummond, given Drummond re-signs with the Lakers.
Chris Paul is going to gain a lot of interest this summer but the Lakers makes the most sense. He would get to play alongside one of his best friends and get an organization back to where they want to be.
If Phoenix loses this postseason, the Lakers would give Paul the best opportunity to win a championship.