NBA Trade Rumors: Chris Paul could become a trade target for the Los Angeles Lakers
What's the story?
Following another disappointing season that ended with defeat to the Warriors in the Western Conference semifinals, ESPN is reporting that the Houston Rockets have made their entire roster available for trade.
Could Paul bring back much more? Preying on desperate teams isn’t as easy when you’re desperate, but there is one organization that’s living below rock bottom this summer. Trading with the Lakers might be loud and messy, but there’s clear incentive on both sides.
Paul and his good pal LeBron James are fighting against the same clock. If no top-tier free agents bite - Jimmy Butler, Kyrie Irving, Kemba Walker - Paul is a decent backup-to-the-backup plan. For Houston, Los Angeles could offer breathing room. Sending Kyle Kuzma to Texas for Paul works straight up because the Lakers have so much cap room this summer.
In case you didn't know...
Paul was selected fourth overall in the 2005 NBA draft by the New Orleans Hornets - spending six years with the team. He joined the Clippers in 2011, forming a key part of the 'Lob City' era, although he left in 2017 due to the team's inability to contend for a Championship.
After a successful first season in Houston, Paul signed a four-year, $160 million maximum contract extension with the Rockets.
The heart of the matter
Paul turned 34 earlier this month, and while he is still among the better point guards in the NBA, there is no doubting that his contract is among the worst in the league. Thanks to the max-deal he signed last summer, Paul will earn $44 million in his age-36 season, and his efficiency during the 18/19 season was at a career-low.
Following an underwhelming season, the point guard is likely to further decline over the next few years, and it is doubtful that the Lakers can contend with a LeBron James/Chris Paul partnership. Ultimately, the Lakers should steer clear and focus on other targets this summer.
The Lakers are preparing for next month's draft. They hold the number four overall pick.