Rumor: LeBron James’ influence will result in Chris Paul trade to Lakers, per NBA execs
Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James could possibly have his dream point guard in the upcoming offseason. Per Bleacher Report’s Eric Pincus, some NBA executives believe LeBron’s influence will ultimately lead to the Lakers trading for Oklahoma City Thunder star Chris Paul.
Here’s just a sampling of what these execs are thinking:
“Chris Paul would love to come back to L.A. I know it would be a dream come true for Chris,” an Eastern Conference executive said. “I know LeBron loves and trusts him and he would be a good fit.”
“It seems like a risk, but sometimes you need to [execute big moves] to make yourself even better,” the executive continued. “The [Golden State] Warriors will be better. The [Los Angeles] Clippers may be better. The [Denver] Nuggets aren’t going to get worse. Your competition is getting better. It worked [in Orlando] for the Lakers, but I don’t know if you have a normal regular season without the bubble if it does.”
“It’s a no-brainer to get a third scorer [and playmaker] like Chris. It’s a really valid and viable scenario,” he said. “Will it happen? I don’t know, but if I’m the Lakers [or] if I’m LeBron, that’s what I go for. They might be able to get a pick back from the Thunder, like [the Miami Heat’s 2021 previously acquired by Oklahoma City].”
Paul appeared with virtual fans during the NBA Finals and was asked by commentators about the upcoming offseason and what his preferences would be. Paul opted for the safer route by giving the usual cryptic answers that most stars give when asked about their offseason decisions, stating that it’s ultimately up to the front office on what transpires.
Paul has been longed for SoCal for quite some time, even dating back to a rejected trade in 2011 that would’ve sent him there to team up with Kobe Bryant. Though this would be a dream come true for both James and Paul, the 35-year-old guard’s massive contract is a factor, making things complicated in terms of moving his money over for the Lakers.
The Wake Forest University product has two years left on his contract for a value of $85.6 million. The Lakers would have to send out a ton of salary to make a deal work. Perhaps it would ultimately be worth it, but it’s not simple.