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NBA Trade Rumors: 3 Deals that LA Lakers can offer OKC Thunder to land Chris Paul

Chris Paul
Chris Paul
Raunak J
ANALYST
Modified 19 Oct 2020, 23:11 IST
Top 5 / Top 10
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Chris Paul is in demand again after a terrific 2019-20 campaign with OKC Thunder, one that resulted in his 10th NBA All-Star selection. Several teams have been linked with Paul but the LA Lakers seem like the favorites to land him based on the latest NBA trade rumors.

It's well-known that Chris Paul and LeBron James are close friends with the latter having a tendency to recruit his buddies in the NBA. It's no secret that OKC Thunder would like to move on from CP3's huge contract too. So we can surely expect the LA Lakers to attempt a trade.

NBA Trade Rumors: 3 Deals that LA Lakers can offer OKC Thunder for Chris Paul

Danny Green
Danny Green

Chris Paul is owed $41.3 million in 2020-21 and this will create huge problems for LA Lakers in terms of matching salaries. So their biggest movable contract โ€“ Danny Green, who's owed $15.3 million next year โ€“ has to be a part of the package. At the same time, Kyle Kuzma is the only player that has the upside of becoming a legit superstar, so he must be offered to OKC Thunder as well.

Besides these two, there are several variables to be considered, the biggest one being Kentavious Caldwell-Pope's contractual situation. Based on the different situations, we have three possible trade deals that LA Lakers can offer OKC Thunder for Chris Paul.


Deal 1: KCP opts into his $8.4 million player option

It's highly unlikely that Kentavious Caldwell-Pope will make use of his player option but in case he does, the LA Lakers can add him to the deal. Only 27 years old, he's certainly a player whom OKC Thunder won't mind having on their books considering his 3-and-D capability. The Purple and Gold can then add JaVale McGee โ€“ who's highly likely to opt into his $4.2 million option โ€“ and Quinn Cook.

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Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

Since OKC Thunder are only getting a bunch of expiring contracts besides Kuzma in this package, LA Lakers could be forced into sending their 2020 first-round pick as well. Teams can't trade their first-rounder for two consecutive years and the Purple and Gold already moved their 2019 pick in the Anthony Davis trade, sothe deal will only be possible a month after the 2020 NBA Draft night.

OKC Thunder get: Kyle Kuzma, Danny Green, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, JaVale McGee, Quinn Cook, LA Lakers' 2020 first-round pick

LA Lakers get: Chris Paul


Deal 2: KCP opts out of player option but re-signs with LA Lakers

This would make things easier for LA Lakers. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope can expect to sign a contract north of at least $12 million if he re-signs with the Purple and Gold considering how crucial a role he played for them in the NBA Playoffs.

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Given that OKC Thunder would now be receiving Kuzma and KCP on a long-term deal, an agreement could be reached for trading Chris Paul without offering additional players or picks.

OKC Thunder get: Kyle Kuzma, Danny Green, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

LA Lakers get: Chris Paul


Deal 3: Package without KCP in the deal

There's every chance that Caldwell-Pope signs with another contender in free agency after declining his player option. There's also a good chance that LA Lakers don't want to include him in a package even if he re-signs or opts in considering how well he did in the absence of Avery Bradley.

Avery Bradley
Avery Bradley
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In such a case, LA Lakers would have to hope that both Bradley โ€“ who's owed $5 million โ€“ and JaVale McGee pick up their player options. Once again OKC will be receiving a slew of expiring contracts besides Kuzma and the 2020 first-rounder as building blocks.

OKC Thunder get: Kyle Kuzma, Danny Green, Avery Bradley, JaVale McGee, Quinn Cook, LA Lakers' 2020 first-round pick

LA Lakers get: Chris Paul


Also read: NBA Trade Rumors - 3 reasons why LA Lakers should go all out to sign Chris Paul


Published 19 Oct 2020, 23:00 IST
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