Lakers Trade Target Chris Paul Could Be on the Move to Phoenix Suns

Getty Chris Paul of the Oklahoma City Thunder is pressured by Deandre Ayton of the Phoenix Suns.

There’s been some scuttlebutt about the Los Angeles Lakers making a move for veteran Oklahoma City point guard Chris Paul. However, the Phoenix Suns could swoop in and strike a deal for him instead, according to a new report.

The Suns have had talks with the Thunder about acquiring Paul — a 10-time all-star — per Brian Windhorst and Tim Bontemps of ESPN. The duo reported that while there have been talks gaining traction, no deal is imminent — yet.

The Suns make a lot of sense to be Paul’s new home. Not only do they have the cap space to make his salary work, but also have more assets to get it done. And if Paul can maintain the form he showed last year, he could be a huge asset combined with the young core of Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton to help lead Phoenix back to the playoffs for the first time since the 2009-10 season.

Rumors Have Chris Paul Eyeing Los Angeles

Lakers forward LeBron James, and good friend Chris Paul.

GettyLakers forward LeBron James, and good friend Chris Paul.

A recent rumor that made headlines came 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.”

Paul would love to play with his good friend LeBron James and the Lakers — who are favorites to repeat and win the title — are Paul’s best chance at getting a ring.

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While his resume is already Hall of Fame worthy, 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.

While the Thunder have reportedly given Paul some input on his next team, but ultimately, he does not control where he will go.

Lakers Have Options for Roster Improvement

Tristan Thompson, Cavaliers

GettyTristan Thompson could sign with the Miami Heat or Boston Celtics.

The salary cap for next season will reportedly be $109.14 million and the luxury tax line set at $132.627 million. That doesn’t exactly leave the Lakers a lot of wiggle room for roster improvement, especially after what they’ll have to pay Anthony Davis.

The Lakers have some player-options to officially wait out, but there are a few free agents LA could target to improve the roster. The Lakers are among the teams interested in free agent big man Tristian Thompson, per Evan Dammarell of Forbes.

The Lakers could also be fortunate enough to land a key role player like Serge Ibaka or Danilo Gallinari who would be willing to take a pay cut to chase a championship.

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