LeBron James’ Banana Boat dreams could come closer to reality with the Los Angeles Lakers this offseason, with Chris Paul possibly being handed a ticket out of Phoenix. Even though CP3 didn’t come into the league until two years after James, the two NBA legends have long been friends, as two purists who eat, breathe, and sleep basketball.
But the two icons are nearing the end of the road, both at age 38. For James, it’s no big deal. He’s accomplished everything within his grasp, including four NBA championships, four MVP awards, and an NBA record 19 trips to the All-Star game.
Yet, Paul is still chasing. The soon-to-be 18-year-pro has made 11 All-NBA teams, but he’s never been able to hoist a championship trophy. One of, if not the best, point guards of today’s era, and he’s never been able to lead his team to an NBA Finals trophy win. As you can imagine, the Point God wants to end his career without any regrets.
But if the Suns are legitimately hoping to move on from Paul and his partially-guaranteed contract with $60 million and two years left on it, then he’ll have to find a new contender to latch on with this summer.
One potential solution could be to finally pair up with James, which in this case would come with the Los Angeles Lakers, who still need to find their starting point guard for next season. According to The Athletic’s Jovan Buha, the Lakers would have “strong interest” in signing Paul if he’s released by the Suns this offseason.
While the Lakers don’t have much cap space to work with this offseason, one potential option could be to sign Paul to a veteran minimum salary if the future Hall of Famer is open to such an idea.
- Chris Paul’s stats last season: 13.9 PPG, 8.9 APG, 4.3 RPG, 1.5 SPG, 44% FG, 37% 3PT
Paul’s numbers slipped last season as he battled injuries, but it was just in 2022 that he led the NBA with 10.8 assists per game. As is, even with his skills deteriorating, Paul still makes sound decisions and remains one of the best distributors in basketball. That has value, no matter what.
For a Lakers team with one extremely high IQ player in James and another extremely skilled player in Anthony Davis, adding one of the most accomplished athletes in the league might not be a bad idea, especially if it comes at a fraction of his current cost.