Everyone knows that LeBron James and Chris Paul are great friends. But their friendship has never been enough to get them on the same team, and it feels unlikely that will change this summer, no matter how much the Lakers and Thunder stars would like it to happen.
Not everyone agrees with that conclusion, however an Eastern Conference executive said. “Chris Paul would love to come back to L.A. I know it would be a dream come true for Chris,” “I know LeBron loves and trusts him and he would be a good fit.” via Eric Pincus
Paul (35-years-old) is due $85,569,960 over the next two seasons, which complicates a trade.
The Lakers must send out at least $33,007,051 in salary to acquire Paul. A package that would get there:
* Danny Green ($15,365,853)
* Avery Bradley ($5,005,350)*
* JaVale McGee ($4,200,000)*
* Kyle Kuzma ($3,562,178)
* Quinn Cook ($3,000,000)**
* Alex Caruso ($2,750,000) or No. 28 pick ($1,964,760)***
*Bradley and McGee have player
options. They must opt in before getting traded. It’s far from guaranteed they both opt in.
*Cook’s salary is just $1 million guaranteed until two days before the season officially turns over. The Lakers would have to fully guarantee his contract to keep him rostered and tradeable.
The Lakers would be sacrificing significant depth by trading for Paul. But they’d still have the mid-level exception to replenish. And minimum slots.
(Via Dan Feldman | NBC Sports)