Chris Paul has been a vital piece of the Phoenix Suns’ core over the past few years as they have gone from Western Conference bottom-dwellers to legitimate title contenders.
That said, in recent weeks chatter has picked up around the league that all parties involved understand the end of their relationship might be near.
It all started about two weeks ago, when word began to emerge that the Suns were starting to look towards what their future would look like post-Paul. That is when folks started buzzing about them being one of four teams in the hunt for Toronto Raptors point guard Fred Van Vleet.
While it remains unclear whether Phoenix will go after VanVleet or Terry Rozier of the Charlotte Hornets or who, this week the other side of that coin became a topic of conversation: what will happen to Paul?
On Monday, Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report suggested a four-team trade that he thinks might solve everyone’s problems. In that deal, Paul would end up with the Los Angeles Lakers.
“If L.A. moves Westbrook, the team needs to replace his shot creation,” Pincus wrote.
“Though later in his career, Paul would be an upgrade. He has a strong relationship with James and gives the Lakers financial flexibility with two additional seasons (the last one at $30 million is non-guaranteed). Health is always a concern when a player nears 40, but it might be a risk the team needs to take to have a better chance of postseason success.
“Depending on who else comes back in the deal, L.A. may also be able to lower its luxury-tax penalty (approximately $44.2 million) by going from Westbrook’s $47.1 million to Paul’s $28.4 million. Perhaps the Lakers can get Jae Crowder out of Phoenix in the deal and/or Mason Plumlee/Kelly Oubre Jr. from the Hornets.”
The Lakers obviously need a more reliable point guard option around LeBron James and Anthony Davis, but whether 37-year-old Paul is the right person remains to be seen.
NBA fans had mixed reactions to this potential move.
I scrolled quickly & my assumption was right: CP3 to the Lakers lmao. Eric my man. I luv ur cap stuff; but ur killin me w/ these articles even if they’re just for fun. The last thing the Lakers need is an old, injury prone player smfh. Have ya not learned anything from AD fiasco?
— Mayo (@YouDontKnowISH_) January 30, 2023
Ik all the laker fans I follow will probably hate this trade because “it will just empower darvin ham to run more 3 guard lineups”
While cp3 is a huge upgrade over russ, he’s probably not what the lakers need most.
— Dax McCoy 📺 (@DaxGotFacts) January 30, 2023
Back then when the Lakers were so close to acquiring CP3 was good and plus he was young. Now at 38 years old and is starting to decline, I’m not so sure.
— Matt Benigno (@MattAdamBenigno) January 30, 2023
With Feb. 9’s NBA Trade Deadline rapidly approaching, the next week and change promises to be hectic.
The Mahomes Clan celebrated by getting a party bus. Unclear if the NFL refs were invited.https://t.co/8D2wgHEKMh
— Game 7 (@game7__) January 31, 2023
Will Paul still be on the Suns come Feb. 10? Will the Lakers make a big move? The answer to both of those questions should come sooner rather than later.