The Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns are both going to need to make some tough point guard decisions this summer.
In L.A.’s case, the front office is mulling over whether or not to extend D’Angelo Russell long-term. Whereas he was key to their midseason turnaround and them getting all the way to the Western Conference Finals, he was also a key reason they got swept by the Denver Nuggets.
For Phoenix, it’s a matter of whether or not to keep Chris Paul. The 38-year-old has been key to the franchise’s makeover into legitimate championship contenders over the past few years, but his injury-proneness and tendency to slow the offense down have become hindrances.
Could a win-win trade between the Lakers and Suns be in the works?
According to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, a possible swap is worth keeping an eye on.
“Russell is known to be close friends with [Devin] Booker,” he wrote.
“Plus, the Lakers are said to be exploring similar sign-and-trade possibilities with Russell. For Los Angeles and Phoenix, losing Russell by free agency or waiving Paul would sacrifice a $30 million salary slot that feels all the more precious while staring down a daunting new second tax apron in the league’s upcoming collective bargaining agreement.
“These decisions are not ones to make on a whim, and that’s why Phoenix and Paul have begun discussing different alternatives roughly three weeks before free agency begins.”
As noted by ESPN NBA insider Brian Windhorst, if Paul and Phoenix do split, there are two frontrunners for his services.
The photos speak for themselves. https://t.co/uJ6vbsfgLi
— Game 7 (@game7__) June 10, 2023
That said, he has continuously expressed a desire to remain with the Suns. And as such, he may be amicable to a team-friendly deal that keeps him there for the rest of his career.
Should all sides not be able to work something out, though – it really wouldn’t be all that shocking to hear the murmurs of a trade between the Lakers and Suns intensify.