Though the Phoenix Suns weren’t nearly as disappointing as the Los Angeles Lakers this season, neither team can be happy with how things ended. Both teams might also have a bit of a dilemma this offseason. They both have aging point guards who could be past their prime.
Chris Paul has played a huge role in turning the Suns was NBA bottom-feeders to legit contenders. However, he just turned 37 and he’s been fading at the end of seasons. Russell Westbrook is still durable as ever but he’s just a bad fit with the Lakers’ roster. Paul has three years left on his contract and his body could let him down any year now. Westbrook is a worse player than Paul right now but he only has one year left on his contract.
If Phoenix is worried that they’ve already hit their ceiling with Paul, perhaps they would consider sending him to Los Angeles to team up with his good friend LeBron James. “First Things First” host Nick Wright pitched a trade between the two teams.
“Russ only has one year left on his deal, if the Lakers call up the Suns and say ‘you want to pay 37 soon-to-be 38-year-old Chris Paul, I don’t know. We like paying old guys. You want to be able to get off Landry Shamet’s 10 million this year and next year, we’ll give you Russ plus a couple of drafts picks, future picks that could be good because LeBron will be gone by then, Chris Paul will be gone by then.’
“You can have those picks for Russ, Chris Paul and Landry Shamet plus picks from the Lakers and then Suns can decide. Will we try to use Russ or we just buy him out?” Wright said on the “What’s Wright? With Nick Wright” podcast.”
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This Trade Could Make Things Worse for Lakers
It would be a great storyline for Paul and LeBron to team up in Los Angeles in the twilight of their careers. Paul is a much better fit with the Lakers due to his ability as a floor general and mid-range shooting. The team could realistically win a championship next season with LeBron, Paul and Anthony Davis.
If they don’t, it could turn into a disaster. Paying Paul around $30 million a year for the next three seasons is very risky. He’s one bad injury away from his career being over. The Lakers took a chance on an aging guard in Westbrook last offseason and it was a disaster.
Suns Could Like the Idea of This Trade
If the Suns believe they’ve reached their ceiling, this trade could make sense. Deandre Ayton could leave the team in free agency, which would blow up their chances of competing for a title next season. 2023 free agency is loaded with talent. The Suns have Devin Booker locked up for two more seasons so they could like the idea of pairing him with another young superstar.
They could also keep Westbrook, who could form a solid duo with Booker next season. As wild as the idea of the Suns moving Paul sounds right now, it could actually be a smart play for their future while taking advantage of a desperate Lakers team.