Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Chris Paul is expected to be one of the most coveted players on the trade market in the 2020 offseason. Paul may have helped the Thunder reach the 2020 Playoffs, but with the team heading into an inevitable rebuild, he’s obviously an odd fit in Oklahoma City. Once the Point God becomes officially available on the trading block this fall, several teams that are in dire need of a backcourt boost and additional star power could express a strong interest in acquiring him from the Thunder, including the Los Angeles Lakers.
According to Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report, the Lakers may consider sending a package that includes Kyle Kuzma, Danny Green, Alex Caruso, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to the Thunder in exchange for Paul.
“The Lakers are sending out four players for one and still not giving up enough money to match Paul’s mammoth salary. That’s a not insignificant part of why the Thunder may consider moving the 35-year-old floor general even after his first season back in the Sooner State was such a resounding success. If OKC is less than thrilled about paying Paul’s contract—$41.4 million next season, $44.2 million player option for 2021-22—L.A. should be ready to pounce.”
Though it would consume a huge chunk of their salary cap space, the proposed scenario would make a lot of sense for the Lakers, especially if they want to maximize the championship window of LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Paul may no longer be in his prime, but he is still considered as one of the best active point guards in the league. His arrival in Los Angeles would boost their performance on the offensive end of the floor and immediately address their need for another shot creator and playmaker.
At 35, CP3 remains a very reliable scoring option, an incredible playmaker, and an elite three-point shooter. This season, he averaged 17.6 points, 5.0 rebounds, 6.7 assists, and 1.6 steals while shooting 48.9 percent from the field and 36.5 percent from beyond the arc, per ESPN. Also, the potential deal would enable James to fulfill his dream of playing alongside Paul in one team. If they succeed to acquire Paul this fall, it would be easier for the Lakers to convince Carmelo Anthony to sign a veteran minimum contract in the 2020 free agency.
Meanwhile, trading Paul after an impressive season would undeniably break the hearts of lots of Thunders’ fans, but it could actually help them in the long-run. Aside from getting rid of Paul’s massive contract, they would also be receiving two young and promising talents in Kuzma and Caruso. Green and Caldwell-Pope could help the Thunder remain competitive next season, and if they feel like focusing on the development of their young players, they could simply send their expiring contracts to contenders in exchange for future draft picks.