Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Chris Paul is among the potential trade candidates who have been frequently linked to the reigning NBA champions the Los Angeles Lakers. With their need for another shot creator and playmaker who could ease the load on LeBron James’ shoulders, most people viewed CP3 as an ideal target for the Purple and Gold in the 2020 offseason. In a recent article, JD Tailor of SB Nation’s Welcome To Loud City proposed a three-way blockbuster deal involving the Lakers, Thunder, and Atlanta Hawks that would allow Paul to reunite with his close pal LeBron in Los Angeles.
In the suggested trade scenario, the Lakers would receive CP3 and Terrance Ferguson, the Hawks would obtain Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (via sign-and-trade deal), and the Thunder would acquire Kevin Huerter, Danny Green, JaVale McGee, Quinn Cook, a 2022 first-round pick, and a 2027 first-round pick. If the deal becomes a reality, Tailor believes it would help the Lakers, Thunder, and Hawks in filling certain needs on their roster.
“This trade is balanced and every team gets what they want with this trade. Los Angeles get another All-Star to put next to LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Atlanta get a very good wing who will hide some of Trae Young’s defensive deficiencies. Oklahoma City get a young player and two picks to add to the stockpile.”
Paul may already be on the downside of his career, but his arrival in Los Angeles would greatly help the Lakers boost their chances of defending their throne in the 2020-21 NBA season. CP3 would not only give the Lakers a pass-first point guard who has plenty of playoff experience, but also a very reliable scoring option, floor-spacer, and perimeter defender. Last season, he averaged 17.6 points, 5.0 rebounds, 6.7 assists, and 1.2 steals while shooting 48.9 percent from the field and 36.5 percent from beyond the arc, per ESPN.
For the Hawks, the potential deal would be about giving the face of the franchise, Trae Young, veteran help next year. Having a defensive specialist like Caldwell-Pope would enable Young to reserve his energy on the offensive end of the floor. Also, sharing the court with another reliable three-point shooter would make it easier for Young to penetrate the basket or kick the ball out when he’s trapped by the opposing team’s defense.
Meanwhile, the Thunder could end up being the biggest winner of the hypothetical three-team blockbuster. They wouldn’t just get rid of Paul’s massive salary, but they would also collect more assets that could help them jumpstart a full-scale rebuild.