Rumors have started to heat up that veteran guard Chris Paul could land with the Los Angeles Lakers this offseason via trade if Oklahoma City decides to deal him, giving the 35-year-old his best shot at a championship.
The latest rumor that made headlines comes from Knicks Film School’s Jonathan Macri, who wrote in his newsletter that Chris Paul prefers his next “basketball home” to be either in Los Angeles or New York.
“Los Angeles is where he resides full time and that has created some modicum of leverage in the ongoing negotiations between the sides,” Knicks Film School’s Jonathan Macri wrote in his newsletter. “I’m also told that there is a deal on the table that is comfortable from Sam Presti’s perspective, and the ball is in Leon Rose’s court.”
Rapper Maxxkii commented on a Top Ball Coverage post breaking down the rumor, writing: “Send him to the Lakers, he deserves a chance at his ring. Only thing keeping him from Hall of Fame convo. Lebron would [complement] his game so much along with AD. They prolly losing Rondo anyways, so they need a guard.”
The comment caught the attention of Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant, who doesn’t hold back when it comes to sharing his opinion on social mdia.
“LMAO Chris Paul in the hall of fame already,” Durant wrote in the comments.
Chris Paul Already Lock For Hall of Fame
For what it’s worth, Durant is right. Basketball Reference has Paul as a 100 percent lock for the Hall of Fame with his current resume.
Paul has been selected to 10 All-Star teams in his career and has made an All-NBA team nine times. He’s led the NBA in assists four times and steals six times.
While his resume is great, a championship is a lone hole in Paul’s credentials. He was in competitive situations with the Clippers and Rockets, but never made it to the NBA Finals. In 102 playoff games, Paul has averaged 20.9 points, 8.5 assists and 5.1 rebounds per game.
Chris Paul Coming Off Resurgent Season With Thunder
Paul is coming off a resurgent season, being selected as an All-Star and to the second All-NBA team. He averaged 17.6 points per game to go with 6.7 assists and 5 rebounds. Paul was the key catalyst for the overachieving Thunder this season, helping lead them to the playoffs. ESPN gave the Thunder a 0.2% chance to make the playoffs in the preseason.
However, while the thought of Paul teaming up with his buddly LeBron James is great, he is set to make more than $41 million next year. That ties him with Russell Westbrook as the second-highest cap hit next year. Only Stephen Curry ($43 million) is higher.
While the money is an obvious concern, so is the Lakers’ ability to bring in Paul through a trade because of their lack of assets.
If they were to pull it off, the Lakers would be a prohibitive favorite. The Lakers are already favored to repeat next season at +400, per Odds Shark. Durant’s Nets are a top-five contender at +1200.