Veteran point guard Chris Paul may have established an impressive performance in his first year with the Oklahoma City Thunder, but with the team heading into an inevitable rebuild, multiple signs suggest that he will be leaving them in the 2020 offseason. Instead of wasting his remaining years in the league mentoring young players in Oklahoma City, Paul is better off being traded to a team that would give him a legitimate chance of winning his first NBA championship title before he officially ends his career. According to Grant Hughes of Bleacher Report, the best landing spot for Paul this fall is the Los Angeles Lakers.
Aside from having a realistic opportunity to capture his first championship ring, taking his talent to Los Angeles would also allow the Point God to join forces with LeBron James. Paul and James are best friends and members of the infamous Banana Boat Crew. And CP3 isn’t the only one who would benefit from the trade; James and the Lakers would, too.
As Hughes noted, the successful acquisition of Paul this offseason will “totally eliminate” the Lakers’ need for non-LeBron playmaking. Though he’s older, he would give the Lakers a much better pure point guard than Rajon Rondo, who is expected to leave in the 2020 free agency to seek a better contract. CP3 isn’t just an incredible playmaker, but he could also efficiently knock down shots from the three-point range.
Last season, he averaged 17.6 points, 5.0 rebounds, 6.7 assists, and 1.6 steals while shooting 48.9 percent from the field and 36.5 percent from beyond the arc, per ESPN. Aside from boosting the Lakers’ offense, Hughes believes that CP3 could also help them further improve their already formidable defense.
“In addition to filling the playmaking void, giving L.A. a perfect late-clock bailout scorer and juicing a shaky half-court offense with elite pick-and-roll craft, CP3 would also bolster the Lakers’ already excellent defense. Alex Caruso, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Rondo performed effectively in Los Angeles’ title run, but Paul is on another level. Smart, competitive and good for at least one baited foul call per game, he’d give the Lakers an almost unfair advantage on D. Paul also hit 42.3 percent of his catch-and-shoot treys last season, so defenses wouldn’t have the option of giving him the Rondo treatment away from the ball.”
However, bringing Paul to Los Angeles wouldn’t be easy for the Lakers. Though the Thunder aren’t expected to ask them to pay a king’s ransom, the Lakers would need to sacrifice several players to match Paul’s massive salary. To acquire CP3, a previous The Inquisitr article suggested that the Purple and Gold could offer a package that includes Kyle Kuzma, Danny Green, Quinn Cook, JaVale McGee, and Avery Bradley to the Thunder.