Lakers Rumors: Interest In Chris Paul Isn’t Unanimous Within Organization
Chris Paul, D'Angelo Russell, Lakers, Warriors
Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

With the NBA Draft and start of free agency taking place this week, the Los Angeles Lakers have a number of important decisions to make to get the roster back to a spot where the organization can compete for a championship.

The point guard position, in particular, is something the Lakers will need to figure out as D’Angelo Russell has the ability to opt out of the final year of his contract and test free agency with the expectation being that he will do so.

If the Lakers wind up losing Russell for nothing in free agency then it will be tough to replace his production with the team’s limited resources.

One option who could become available is Chris Paul. He has a $30 million team option with the Golden State Warriors that could be declined, which would make him a free agent as well. If that is the case then the Lakers are reported to be one of the teams with interest in the 39-year-old.

That interest doesn’t appear to be unanimous, however, as NBA insider Marc Stein is reporting that some within the Lakers are not high on Paul:

The Warriors, league sources say, have continued to explore their trade options with Paul’s trade-friendly contract in conjunction with Wednesday’s draft as well as the prospect of pushing the Friday deadline into July if Paul is amenable to that amendment (as covered here previously). Count on Paul’s situation being one of the prime topics raised Monday afternoon when Warriors general manager Mike Dunleavy Jr. holds a pre-draft news conference — after Dunleavy, of course, is quizzed on free agent-to-be Klay Thompson’s future with the only team Thompson has ever known.

I keep hearing that Paul, if he actually makes to free agency at some point, would draw interest from the Clippers as well as the Lakers. Paul’s desire to play as close to his L.A.-based family as possible is well-known, but I’m told interest in bringing him to the Lakers might not be unanimous within the organization despite Paul’s well-chronicled friendship with LeBron James.

It’s no secret that Paul has lost a few steps at this stage of his career. In 58 games with the Warriors last season, he averaged 9.2 points, 3.9 rebounds and 6.8 assists although he still shot 37.1% from 3-point range.

Paul obviously has a great relationship with LeBron James and also played with new Lakers coach JJ Redick on the L.A. Clippers a handful of years ago.

If he reaches free agency though he appears to have some detractors in the Lakers organization, which is understandable given his age and the miles on his body.

Russell could be the first domino to fall for L.A. so depending on what decision he makes, Paul could be an option for a cheaper price.

Lakers remain interested in Dejounte Murray

One other point guard option could be Dejounte Murray of the Atlanta Hawks, who the Lakers pursued heavily at the trade deadline. The team is reportedly still interested in Murray, so they could circle back with Atlanta depending on what happens with Russell.

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