After the Phoenix Suns lost the NBA Finals on Tuesday night against the Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson had an interesting suggestion for Chris Paul: Join the Purple and Gold.
That’s right. From one all-time great point guard to another, Johnson implored CP3 to call his good friend LeBron James and see if he could join forces with The King for a long-awaited championship ring:
Call it reactionary if you’d like, but does Magic have a point?
Paul and LeBron are nearing the end of their careers. The Lakers’ lack of steady veteran leadership outside of James is obvious, and Paul would have his best chance at a championship playing next to LBJ and Anthony Davis.
Why Chris Paul should consider the Los Angeles Lakers in free agency
Paul should think about exploring his options outside of Phoenix, and the Lakers should be among his top destinations. The built-in friendship with LeBron is already there, and CP3 still calls Los Angeles home as a resident.
With a player option for the final year of his contract, Paul has the freedom to hit the open market this summer if he so desires. Had Phoenix not blown a 2-0 Finals lead and nabbed the Larry O’Brien Trophy, there’s no question Paul would’ve just re-signed with the Suns. Now, it’s at least a little less certain.
Bear in mind that Phoenix won a war of attrition in the West, which is a fine way to sum up the short turnaround from the Orlando bubble to the 2020-21 season.
To his credit, though, Paul improbably remained quite durable throughout the postseason, fighting through multiple injuries to play at a high level. That’s impressive for a 36-year-old with an extensive injury history.
In an effort to argue in favor of Paul to the Lakers, let’s imagine he returns to the Suns. Devin Booker is a solid running mate, and they have a great coach in Monty Williams with a solid young core in place. But can any of those rising players be counted on to deliver a title?
Think about it this way: The Brooklyn Nets will presumably have Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving all healthy next season. The Denver Nuggets get Jamal Murray back to join with Nikola Jokic and Michael Porter Jr.
Those two squads should be the top NBA championship contenders alongside Milwaukee, who figures to run it back with Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday.
Even if Paul doesn’t go to the Lakers, they should still have a chance at a title with LeBron and AD in action, regardless of who the other pieces are on the roster.
So, does Paul have a better chance at that elusive first championship by running it back in Phoenix? Or could he be the boost the Lake Show need to get over the hump? Speculation will run rampant all offseason about Paul’s future until he decides.