Despite successfully bringing home the Larry O'Brien Trophy in the 2019-20 NBA season, the Los Angeles Lakers are still expected to be aggressive on the market this fall. As other title contenders find ways to upgrade their rosters, the Lakers will need to address some of the issues on their team in order to have a better chance of defending their throne next year. One player that is being heavily linked to the Lakers is veteran point guard Chris Paul of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
With his relationship with LeBron James and impressive performance last season, there's a huge possibility that the Lakers would try to bring CP3 to Los Angeles in the 2020 offseason. Some league executives who spoke to Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report believes that Paul is the final piece to "LeBron's Laker dynasty puzzle." However, though it wouldn't require them to pay a king's ransom to convince the Thunder to make a deal, the Lakers would need to sacrifice several players to match Paul's massive salary.
In the proposed trade scenario by Pincus, the Lakers would have to send a package that includes Kyle Kuzma, Danny Green, Quinn Cook, JaVale McGee, Avery Bradley, and the No. 28 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft to the Thunder in exchange for Paul. Before pushing through with the deal, they would first need to convince McGee and Bradley to opt into their respective contracts.
"It seems like a risk, but sometimes you need to [execute big moves] to make yourself even better," the executive said. "The [Golden State] Warriors will be better. The [Los Angeles] Clippers may be better. The [Denver] Nuggets aren't going to get worse. Your competition is getting better. It worked [in Orlando] for the Lakers, but I don't know if you have a normal regular season without the bubble if it does."
Paul may already be on the downside of his career, but he would still be an incredible addition to the Lakers. He would immediately address their need for another shot creator and playmaker and would give them a very reliable third scoring option behind James and Anthony Davis next year.
Meanwhile, for the Thunder, the proposed deal would be a no-brainer, especially if they are already planning a full-scale rebuild. Aside from getting rid of CP3's lucrative contract, they would receive a young and promising player in Kuzma and a 2020 first-rounder that would enable them to add another talented prospect to their roster.