Lakers Speculation Stirs Following Surprise Release of 12-Time All-Star

chris paul lebron james

Getty LeBron James hugging Chris Paul.

Since the Los Angeles Lakers season ended, there’s been speculation that the team will make a play for Kyrie Irving. When that started to look like it wouldn’t happen, Irving started recruiting LeBron James to the Dallas Mavericks. Well, it looks like the Lakers may have a chance at a much less controversial star guard.

In one of the biggest surprises of the year, the Phoenix Suns are waiving star guard Chris Paul, according to Bleacher Report’s Chris Haynes.

This comes after an injury kept Paul out of the final four games of the Suns’ playoff matchup against the Denver Nuggets. The team ended up losing in six games and looked like the far inferior team. This led to Phoenix firing head coach Monty Williams and replacing him with Frank Vogel. It’s clear that new Suns owner Mat Ishbia is looking to make some sweeping changes to the organization. Paul has been with the Suns for three seasons and was a major part of their turnaround. However, he’s 38 now and injury prone. It’s clear that the team preferred to build around Devin Booker and Kevin Durant.

For what it’s worth, Haynes is also reporting that Paul has no intention to retire anytime soon and plans to play for “several more years.”

Lakers Speculation Swirls After Paul Release

Now that Paul is about to be a free agent, many are already linking him to the Lakers. The 12-time All-Star lives out in Los Angeles during the offseason and is close friends with LeBron James. Naturally, this led to much speculation that he was going to end up with the Lakers.

Paul was almost a Laker back in 2011 before former NBA commissioner David Stern voided the deal. He ended up with the Clippers and spent six years with them. Paul has been linked to the Lakers for years, especially after LeBron joined the team. The two remain very close but haven’t had a chance to join forces at the NBA level. Paul is now going to be free to go to a team of his choosing and the Lakers should be appealing if he’s hoping to compete for a championship.

Does Adding Paul Make Sense for Lakers?

If Paul is the big splash move the Lakers make this offseason, it’s hard to be too excited about their chances. They already have a star duo of LeBron and Anthony Davis who have been injury prone the last few years. Paul typically makes it through most of the regular season but has fallen apart come playoff time.

The Lakers aren’t in the business of failing in the playoffs so relying on a 38-year-old LeBron and a 38-year-old Paul would be very risky. Now, if they could stay healthy, adding Paul could make Los Angeles title favorites depending on how much money he’s looking for. A minimum contract is unlikely but Paul certainly isn’t getting a max deal. The Lakers do want to get younger but LeBron’s championship window is closing. Perhaps adding Paul and some other pieces next to LeBron and Davis is enough to get the team back over the hump. It all comes down to how much of a discount Paul is willing to take.

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