Can this trade really happen in the 2021 NBA off-season?

The LA Lakers have been linked to a potential Chris Paul trade a number of times, especially since the infamous 2011 attempt that was made when Paul was still a New Orleans Pelicans player. But the trade was nullified by then NBA Commissioner David Stern.

To rub salt in wounds, Chris Paul wound up at city rivals LA Clippers, where he joined forces with the likes of Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. Over the years, Paul has accrued 11 NBA All-Star selections and eventually joined his current team, the Phoenix Suns, in November 2020.

Almost a decade after the 2011 saga, a 36-year old Chris Paul was a major reason why the LA Lakers could not get past the first round of the playoffs. LeBron James and Anthony Davis both had injury problems, as the LA Lakers saw their season end prematurely.

In this article, we look at whether the Lakers can finally acquire Chris Paul in the coming off-season.

2021 NBA offseason: Can the ‘Chris Paul to LA Lakers’ trade happen this offseason?

While Chris Paul will undoubtedly be a quality addition to the LA Lakers roster, a potential trade seems unlikely due to a number of reasons. Paul has a player-option for the 2021-22 NBA season on the four-year, $160 million deal that he is currently on. The LA Lakers will need to move around multiple assets in order to make the trade happen. The head-office has suggested that it will not be scared of making large-scale changes to give their team the players to win another championship.

Currently out due to COVID-19 protocols, Chris Paul has not yet commented on whether he will be taking up the player option. If he does not, Paul will be an unrestricted free agent in the offseason. The LA Lakers have multiple assets in the form of Kyle Kuzma, Dennis Schroder and Talen-Horton Rucker, who have all been linked with a move away in recent weeks. The LA Lakers saw the likes of Kuzma and Schroder struggle through the playoffs and looked short of a playmaker, especially in the absence of LeBron James.

Can LeBron James and Chris Paul be teammates for the LA Lakers?
Can LeBron James and Chris Paul be teammates for the LA Lakers?

They were also punished by the Phoenix Suns due to inconsistent shooting from role-players, with Chris Paul ticking all the boxes. Recently, Magic Johnson himself suggested that Paul is the ideal player that the LA Lakers should be looking at in order to create a championship-winning roster again.

Chris Paul averaged more than 54% overall and around 40% from the 3-point zone while dishing out 16.4 points, 8.9 assists and 1.4 steals per game. He is widely recognized for his basketball I.Q and might well respond with better numbers due to the quality that the LA Lakers have.

Regardless, while there are currently other free agents such as Kyle Lowry, who the LA Lakers will be looking at, quite a bit depends upon whether Chris Paul takes up the player-option with the Phoenix Suns for the upcoming NBA season. If he does not, the LA Lakers might as well go in for him, although multiple assets will have to go the other way if such an acquisition is to happen.

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