NBA free agency is almost upon us and the Los Angeles Lakers are set to have a busy week. With a deal that lands the team Russell Westbrook already agreed upon, the Lakers need to continue to build out their roster. Prior to the Westbrook deal, there was speculation that Chris Paul could be a target for the team.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Paul has decided to decline his player option, which will make him a free agent. That move is unsurprising and he’ll likely get a new deal with the Phoenix Suns soon. However, he wasn’t recently seen in Los Angeles with a certain new Lakers star.
Now, before people start saying that Paul is coming to the Lakers, it’s important to note that his family lives in Los Angeles. He does not live in Phoenix during the offseason. Paul and Westbrook are likely just hanging out as friends. If the Lakers somehow figured out a way to add Paul in addition to Westbrook, that would be the most stunning move of the offseason. That is not likely to happen.
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Is Paul Staying in Phoenix?
Despite consistently being one of the best guards in the NBA, Paul has been on three different teams over the last three seasons. It appeared he found a long-term home in Phoenix after leading the team to the NBA Finals this past season. While the Suns are still the likely favorite to keep him, anything is possible and there are plenty of teams that would love to have him.
However, it’s not happening. The Lakers would’ve made some sense due to Paul’s relationship with LeBron James. The Westbrook trade kills that possibility. Paul’s future makes the most sense in Phoenix. The team was really strong this season and the young players should only get better. If the Lakers stay healthy, the Suns won’t be the favorites to win the Western Conference but nobody expected the team to do much last season either.
Lakers Linked to Many Players
With the Lakers starting to build a superteam, they could be very appealing to veterans trying to win a championship. We’ve seen players in the past like David West with Golden State Warriors sacrifice money to win a ring. Los Angeles should be a popular destination for those types of players.
While the team has been linked to high-profile names like DeMar DeRozan, they should really put an emphasis on shooting. A player like Wayne Ellington would be a strong fit as he hit 42.2% of his 3-point shots last season. According to Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times, Ellington is among the players interested in joining the team:
The Lakers need shooting. One name that is coming up is Patty Mills. He can shoot the lights out and would be great off the bench. Wayne Ellington is another shooter who has interest in rejoining the Lakers. Trevor Ariza and Andre Iguodala are veteran wings who are candidates… Jeff Green and Goran Dragić also are names to look out for.
Many of the names listed by Turner would be strong fits with the team but Mills and Ellington should be high on the priorities list.