Chris Paul Rumors: Lakers Only Interested At Veteran Minimum; Clippers Reunion Still More Likely
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The future of veteran point guard Chris Paul and where he will wind up is one of the biggest NBA storylines as the offseason fast approaches. Paul was traded from the Phoenix Suns to the Washington Wizards on Sunday, but rumors have persisted that he could ultimately find himself back in Los Angeles with either the Lakers or Clippers.

The Lakers do reportedly have interest in bringing in Paul should he become available as a free agent, but according to Broderick Turner of the L.A. Times, they would only do so if he would accept a minimum contract:

The Lakers for sure would have interest in acquiring Chris Paul, but only for the veteran minimum. If he were to take that from the Lakers, it would be a good deal for the Lakers and allow them to retain Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura possibly without hurting their salary cap too much.

This makes sense for the Lakers as their top priority remains bringing back their own young players in Reaves and Hachimura. Potentially sacrificing their salary cap considering Paul’s age and injury history may not be the best move, but Paul can still be productive and on a minimum deal that would be worth it.

But that is assuming Paul hits free agency which is no guarantee. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Wizards are currently having conversations about expanding this Suns deal into a three-team deal to ship Paul elsewhere and if that fails, they could be fine keeping him on their roster:

“Well Chris Paul is waiting now for the Washington Wizards, their president Michael Winger, their GM Will Dawkins, to continue trade conversations around the league about expanding this two-way deal with the Suns into a three-way deal that perhaps could send Chris Paul to a contender. Is there a package out there, perhaps a couple expiring contracts, maybe some kind of a draft asset. Or is there a talented player, perhaps a younger player with more years and money left on his deal that a team might wanna move out to bring Chris Paul in for one year. He still has value, even at 38 years old I think for a contending team. There’s a few different scenarios where a trade is possible and so Washington is working on trying to see, can they get a deal with a third team and expand this trade and then call it into the league.

“But Scott, if they’re not able to do this, and this ends up just being a two-way deal with Phoenix and Washington, certainly Washington imagines a scenario I’m told, where Chris Paul is their point guard this season. They’re in a rebuild, they’re re-shaping this roster, I don’t sense they’re trying to bottom out and really tank, tank. There will be a conversation, if the deal is finalized, where Chris Paul can then talk to the Wizards about what it all might look like. I think in a perfect world for Chris Paul, he gets a contract buyout and then he can perhaps choose between the Lakers and the Clippers back in L.A. where he keeps his home, where his family is. But Washington has a lot of say in that. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out over the next few days.”

Paul remaining with the Wizards would be odd, especially as they seem to be heading into some sort of rebuild mode. At 38 years old, Paul is surely looking to compete for a championship and Washington doesn’t offer that.

This is why the rumors about him joining either the Lakers or Clippers have been so prevalent, but ESPN’s Brian Windhorst believes the Clippers are the more likely destination and that discussions between them and the Wizards on a deal are already taking place, via NBA reporter Evan Sidery:

“I’m not hearing the Lakers. I don’t think that’s where Chris Paul is headed […] From what I am told there was some discussions involving the Clippers and the Wizards yesterday about a potential Chris P{aul package. Now this would be potentially complicated because from what I am told they’re actually searching for a third team, potentially to take some assets from the Clippers in the deal and I always say a three-team trade is a no-team trade, so I wouldn’t necessarily project optimism that there’s a deal to be worked out there. But there is some mutual interest between the Clippers and Chris Paul. I think that’s a possibility, a stronger possibility either via trade in the next few days or if Chris Paul gets to become a free agent on the free agent market.”

There are a lot of potential routes for this Chris Paul story to go and the Clippers, Lakers and Wizards all seem to be possibilities, but nothing is known for sure.

Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!

You May Also Like

Lakers News: Darvin Ham & D’Angelo Russell Credit Malik Beasley’s Professionalism After Being Moved To Bench

Austin Reaves has been a major boost to the Los Angeles Lakers the past couple of weeks, so Darvin Ham had no choice but to insert…

Lakers Video: Tristan Thompson Provides Advice To Heat On Guarding Nuggets’ Nikola Jokić

The 2023 NBA Finals between the Denver Nuggets and the Miami Heat begins on Thursday night…

NBA Free Agency Rumors: LaMarcus Aldridge To Sign With Nets Over Lakers & Others

Former All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge became one of the biggest names on the open market when it was announced he would take…

Lakers News: LeBron James Names Dream NBA Slam Dunk Contest Participants

If there is one thing that many wish Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James had done in his NBA career, it was to take part…