Not every NBA season has some overarching theme but this season, the Denver Nuggets and Miami Heat surprising the world by reaching the 2023 NBA Finals is a reminder that chemistry is as important a factor as any in why a team is able to win it all.

That isn't to say every championship team was buddy-buddy, but when considering why a team like the Los Angeles Lakers wasn't able to reach the 2023 NBA Finals, one finds the answer lies in the fit of the players around LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Not just Russell Westbrook, who was an awkward fit because his strengths and weaknesses didn't quite mesh with the team's needs. D'Angelo Russell wasn't a natural fit either.

Of course, all of this is public knowledge, and the reason that All-Star guard Kyrie Irving is likely to be linked to the Lakers to and through the LeBron era.

Irving is a terrific fit for L.A. due to his scoring ability and chemistry with James. However, there's a point guard that may be a bit easier to acquire and just as solid a fit albeit in a different way: Phoenix Suns point guard Chris Paul.

Why Chris Paul is the best point guard target for Lakers

Two generals are better than one

Chris Paul is part of LeBron James' inner circle, having known the four-time MVP since their AAU days, with both LeBron still showing interest in teaming up with Paul in recent years. That said, even if CP3 and LeBron weren't so close, Paul is the type of player whose basketball intelligence, leadership skills and experience wouldn't only garner James' trust, but would allow him to be a pillar for L.A.'s locker room as well.

To that point, having a vocal leader that the team respects is as important for LeBron as the rest of the team. Every player needs to be properly motivated, and James and Paul will know just what to tell each other and their teammates as they look to bring the best out of their team.

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Two generals are better than one.

That isn't to disrespect Anthony Davis, an outspoken player that's demonstrated an underrated level of maturity throughout his career. Because where LeBron and CP3 are generals, the elder statesmen, AD is a captain in his own right.

However, to acquire Paul, the Lakers will have to convince a fellow Western Conference contender to trade him to them. After all, though there are already rumblings that the Phoenix Suns would be willing to move on from Paul, that doesn't mean they would be willing to send them to a team that could defeat them on a way their way to the NBA Finals.

Considering the possibilities

Trade Scenario #1:

Lakers receive: Chris Paul

Suns receive: Malik Beasley, Mo Bamba, future first round pick

Summary: As the Los Angeles Lakers receive floor general Chris Paul, the Phoenix Suns take back Malik Beasley, Mo Bamba and their expiring contracts. The Suns also receive a future first round pick (2028) from the Lakers.

For Phoenix, the primary benefit may be financial, because they'll hold a team option on Beasley's $16.5 million contract for the 2023-24 season and Bamba's $10.3 million is non-guaranteed. Especially considering the financial restrictions imposed by the new CBA for teams that go above a second tax apron.

However, the Suns could also opt to keep both players as their depth is threadbare at nearly every position heading into free agency. While neither Beasley nor Bamba had great seasons in 2022-23, both players are 3-point threats and Bamba could play an even more valuable role depending on whether or not the Suns keep Deandre Ayton.

Trade Scenario #2:

Lakers receive: Chris Paul

Suns receive: D'Angelo Russell (sign-and-trade)

Summary: In this scenario, the Phoenix Suns acquire D'Angelo Russell in a sign-and-trade that brings the Suns a player 11 years younger and with far less tread on their tires. As talented a point guard as Chris Paul is, Father Time is undefeated, and the Suns could be making a smart play for their present and future by getting an above-average point guard in Russell.

To that point, though Russell isn't quite on the level of other star point guards, he remains one of the better shooters, distributors and scorers in the league. A player that's sure to see plenty favorable matchups with the defensive attention that Kevin Durant and Devin Booker generate on the perimeter, Russell could truly shine with the Suns.

In Either Scenario…

In either scenario, the Los Angeles Lakers end up with an elite ball-handler, facilitator and shooter in Chris Paul, who plays at a great pace offensively. Slithering his way around defenders, and making timely baskets at the end of game, Paul will be more than a guy who can get LeBron James, Anthony Davis and others easy baskets.

Furthermore, Paul is an engaged defender whose attention to detail allows him to make impact plays both on- and off-ball. Though 38-years-old, Paul is usually quick, strong and intelligent enough to make any negative perceptions about his physical limitations seem overblown in the grand scheme of things.

Averaging 15.8 points, 8.8 assists and 1.6 steals per game over the past four seasons with three All-Star selections in that time, Paul's production and efficiency (48.3-36.6-88.1 shooting splits over the past four seasons) have almost become underrated.

Lastly, Paul isn't going to be a player that constantly takes over as a scorer like Kyrie Irving. However, that could actually be beneficial for chemistry, given AD's role and the upside of players like Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura.

All things considered; Paul would be a great offseason pickup for L.A., if the Lakers and the Suns are willing to take the chance.