Eastern Conference GM says it’s Chris Paul’s dream to play with Lakers and LeBron James

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read

One NBA general manager said that it has been Chris Paul’s dream to play with LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers, according to Heavy.com’s Sean Deveney.

“Lakers first,” the general manager texted. “It’s not definite, a lot can happen. But you’d have to start there. He always had (the) dream of being a Laker (and) playing with LBJ.”

Paul was nearly a Laker in 2011, but the NBA decided to stop a three-team deal between the Lakers, New Orleans Hornets and Houston Rockets that would have sent Paul to Los Angeles.

The Phoenix Suns reportedly could waive or trade Paul this offseason, as he has a partially guaranteed deal for the 2023-24 campaign.

Paul has been with the Suns since the 2020-21 season, and he was a key piece in the team’s NBA Finals appearance in the 2020-21 campaign.

A 12-time All-Star, Paul is one of the greatest point guards in NBA history, but he’s clearly reaching the end of his career at 38 years old.

The Lakers could be in the market for a point guard this offseason, as D’Angelo Russell and Dennis Schroder are both set to hit unrestricted free agency. Los Angeles could try to work a deal for Paul or simply sign him to a contract if he is waived by Phoenix.

The Suns appear to be looking to tweak their roster around Devin Booker and Kevin Durant after getting knocked out in the second round of the playoffs in the 2022-23 season.

Phoenix already fired head coach Monty Williams, and the Suns may feel that they can replace Paul with a younger and even better option. The veteran point guard missed the majority of the team’s second-round playoffs series against the Denver Nuggets with an injury.

Since Paul’s contract is partially guaranteed for the 2023-24 season and non-guaranteed in the 2024-25 season, Phoenix could open up a bunch of money by waiving him.

“Only $15.8 million of his $30.8 million for the 2023-24 season is guaranteed if he’s waived — unless the Suns keep Paul past that June 28 deadline date,” ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski wrote. “The expectation is that the Suns would stretch and waive the guaranteed portion of Paul’s salary next season ($3.16M per season over the next five seasons) to create more salary cap space and open up the team’s ability to use the $12.2 million taxpayer midlevel exception.”

It’s unclear what Paul would be looking for on the open market if he were waived, but the Lakers appear to at least be an option for the point guard given his ties to the franchise and James.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.