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NBA insider claims Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers could battle for star player in free agency

A top NBA insider believes if Chris Paul hits the NBA free agent market, the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers could be top contenders for his services.

One of the top stories in the league this week has been about the summer plans for future Hall-of-Famer Chris Paul. On Wednesday, reports claimed that the NBA legend was expected to be cut by the Phoenix Suns. However, it seems like those claims may have been exaggerated.

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As of Thursday morning, it is still unclear how the relationship between the Suns and Paul will proceed over the next few weeks. The 12-time All-Star reportedly wants to stay in Phoenix, which is understandable since they have legitimate title contender potential. However, his age, contract, and long injury history have made him far more expendable, and the Suns need to improve their roster depth if they intend to compete for an NBA title next season.

While a trade or Chris Paul possibly staying with the Phoenix Suns is still in play, it seems more likely that he is released or the organization uses their stretch provision on him. If he does hit the open market, there is expected to be a great deal of interest around the league, including from the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers.

Los Angeles Lakers could pursue Chris Paul in NBA free agency

los angeles lakers, los angeles clippers
Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Lakers and Clippers — when healthy — seemed to be at their best this season when they had strong play from their point guard position. Both teams made late-season moves to improve the spot, and both transactions furthered the belief that they need impact talent at the spot if they want to contend for a title in 2023-2024.

The aforementioned acquisitions — D’Angelo Russell and Russell Westbrook — are both free agents. Meaning the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers have to either re-sign them or fill the opening with a different player this summer. On Wednesday night, ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski claimed that both LA clubs likely would have an interest in Chris Paul and the feeling could be mutual.

  • Chris Paul stats (’22-’23): 13.9 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 8.9 APG, 1.5 SPG, 38% 3PT

Wojnarowski revealed that Paul’s offseason home is in Los Angeles which makes both teams intriguing. Each should be playoff contenders again next season, and when it comes to the Lakers, Paul and superstar Lebron James have been good friends for nearly two decades.