Insider Predicts Legendary Guard to Sign Contract With Lakers

chris paul lebron james

Getty LeBron James hugging Chris Paul.

The Los Angeles Lakers won’t have much money to play with in free agency so they may need to target some aging veterans willing to take minimum contracts. Chris Paul has been linked to the team for years and was nearly traded to them in 2011.

Paul is technically under contract with the Golden State Warriors right now but his $30 million salary isn’t guaranteed. It’s unlikely the Warriors will want to pay him that money so Paul should hit free agency. Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report predicts that the Lakers will be the team the 12-time All-Star signs with.

“Once he clears waivers, put Paul, finally, on the Lakers at a $3.3 million minimum contract,” Pincus wrote in a June 14 column.

“The 39-year-old can come off the bench or even start, though the Lakers will need to limit his minutes, given he’s just a few months younger than the oldest player in the league (James, 40 in December).”

A minimum contract seems low for a legendary player like Paul but he’s 39 now and only averaged 9.2 points a game this season. While he’s not the star player he once was, he could still be a leader and distributor for a veteran team like the Lakers.

Does Chris Paul Help the Los Angeles Lakers?

Paul is nearing the end of his career. He’s only half a year younger than LeBron James but hasn’t aged as gracefully. He missed over 20 games in each of the last two seasons and hasn’t been able to handle the rigors of an NBA season for a long time.

However, he could still be a smart addition for the Lakers. The team hasn’t had a great pass-first point guard on the roster since James has been on the team. Paul isn’t the scorer he once was but still averaged 6.8 assists a game this season.

It’s easy to see him putting up strong assist numbers while being on a team with James and Anthony Davis. Even if the Lakers retain D’Angelo Russell, Paul could be valuable as a backup point guard. They could also move Russell to shooting guard while Paul runs the offense. He doesn’t move the needle much for the Lakers but he’d certainly be a positive addition to the team.

Chris Paul Not Retiring

Paul is already at the age when players start to retire. It wouldn’t be a huge surprise if he decided to walk away from the game right now. However, he recently made it clear that he’s not ready to retire quite yet.

“I’ll talk to my wife and my kids, my family, my support system, see what it looks like,” Paul told The Athletic in an April 17 interview. “But this isn’t (the end of my career). I know it for sure.”

Paul is still good enough to play another season or two but he’s not going to see a long-term contract anywhere. He can still be a valuable piece for a contender to have but he can’t be one of the two best players on a playoff team. The Lakers certainly make sense for him but any number of contending teams could try to sign him to a minimum contract.

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