The Lakers made a huge splash this summer by trading for Chris Paul, one of the league’s premier point guards. But before that, the Lakers were on the verge of a potential disaster.
On Thursday, the news broke that the Los Angeles Lakers had traded for a trio of superstars in a blockbuster trade with the Houston Rockets. For Los Angeles, it was the first major move of the offseason. For Houston, it was the final piece of a rebuild that had been in motion for many months. What transpired was a trade that would unearth a new superstar in the form of the 6-foot-9 James Harden and launch the second act of a franchise hoping to make a comeback.
There’s been a lot of talk surrounding the Lakers’ trade of Russell Westbrook to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Chris Paul, and most of the chatter has focused on whether or not the Lakers made the right move. As fans of the team, we can’t help but wonder whether or not the trade would have been made had LeBron James decided to re-sign with the Lakers.. Read more about who does chris paul play for and let us know what you think.
The Los Angeles Lakers and LeBron James have had a busy offseason. Many NBA fans and commentators have declared the new-look Lakers to be the best “super-team” in the league.
It’s difficult to argue with Russell Westbrook, Trevor Ariza, Malik Monk, Dwight Howard, Wayne Ellington, Carmelo Anthony, and Kendrick Nunn when it comes to reasoning. The Lakers are stacking the deck in their favor, hoping to take advantage of James’ last years as a basketball player.
While the addition of Westbrook is by far the most significant the Lakers have made this summer, James had his sights set on a different All-Star quality point guard not long ago.
LeBron James showed desire in playing alongside good friend Chris Paul before the Lakers traded for Russell Westbrook.
Some of them are discussed in the link below, but Bogdanovic stands out. They tried to sign him before the deadline in ’20, but the Kings let him go for nothing. I understand there are scheduling conflicts, but I believe the Lakers could have had him for Green/28. https://t.co/L7f5WQiTGa
August 11, 2021 — Sam Quinn (@SamQuinnCBS)
Appearing on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” as a guest. In July, James was asked if he would consider playing alongside current Suns point guard Chris Paul. Off the court, James and Paul have been close friends for a long time and have often joked about joining up.
After James laughed off the original Paul question, emcee Arsenio Hall (who was sitting in for Jimmy Kimmel) took it a step further.
“Of course you’d like to play with your pal (Paul),” Hall responded. “It would be fantastic.”
“Absolutely. Absolutely. “Indeed,” James said.
One of LeBron James’ sons has Chris Paul as a godfather.
Chris Paul (3) of the Phoenix Suns is guarded by LeBron James (23) | Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times
While a Paul-James on-court combination would be one of the best in basketball, it’s their off-court ties that have kept the two superstars so closely bonded over the years.
They’re not only good friends who go on vacations together, but Paul is also the godfather of one of James’ sons, Bryce. Paul was present at Bryce’s birth, which occurred during the 2007 NBA Finals, which was James’ first appearance in the Finals.
It’s also worth recalling that Paul had approved a trade to the Lakers in 2011, but it was denied by then NBA commissioner David Stern. Paul eventually joined the LA Clippers, a cross-town rival, although he was open to donning the purple and gold at some point during his career.
Although the notion was floated, Paul eventually re-signed with the Phoenix Suns, allowing Westbrook to be dealt to the Lakers.
The concept of Paul forming a partnership with James may have been discussed between the two parties at some point. Paul, on the other hand, chose to re-sign with the Suns, indicating that he intends to continue his career in Phoenix.
During his rookie season with Phoenix, Paul averaged 16.4 points and 8.9 assists per game, and he was a key part of the team’s Finals participation. Re-signing Paul makes sense since he built a solid bond with teammates Devin Booker and DeAndre Ayton.
When James and the Lakers learned of Paul’s return to Phoenix, they immediately shifted their focus to Westbrook. Although the former league MVP isn’t as adept as Paul at orchestrating offenses, he plays with a level of passion and intensity that could translate well to Los Angeles. Along with James and Anthony Davis, the Lakers are in desperate need of a third star.
Last season, Westbrook led the league with 22.2 points and 11.7 assists per game, guiding the Washington Wizards to the playoffs.
Basketball Reference provided all stats.
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