The Los Angeles Lakers — fresh off of an NBA championship — will likely look to improve their roster. While they don’t have an immense amount of salary cap space to do that, they have been linked to star players Chris Paul and Victor Oladipo.
Paul would be an ideal fit in L.A., essentially replacing Rajon Rondo’s minutes in the rotation while also likely taking minutes from Avery Bradley and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, should either of them leave in free agency.
The difficulty is making a trade for Paul, as his contract is not conducive to a simple deal, meaning the Lakers would have to give up a lot and possibly find a third team to help balance salaries.
Despite that, ESPN analyst and former NBA player Kendrick Perkins is confident that the Lakers will make that move during the offseason, via the “Sedano and LZ” show:
“To be honest, I think the Lakers are going to lose Rondo. I really do. I think the Lakers are going to land Chris Paul, I think Rondo is going to be with the Clippers and I think y’all gonna lose Playoff Rondo. That’s the guy I think y’all are going to lose. … We all know how great of friends LeBron James and Chris Paul are. Chris Paul has been on record this offseason saying that his destinations are the Lakers in L.A. or with New York. And I think he’s going to be a Laker. I’m telling you. I can see it happening right now, with him and Sam Presti possibly coming up with a buyout if they can’t come together and get a trade done. I’m like 85% sure Chris Paul will be a Laker next year.”
Perkins appears to be speaking completely based off opinion. However, he is very plugged in with some current players. Perhaps he has some knowledge of the situation with the Lakers front office, but is simply framing it as an opinion.
Either way, L.A. likely has a clear cut plan for what they want to do in the shortened offseason, and it’s very possible those plans include Paul.
Free agency to begin as soon as possible after Draft
While there is no specific start date at the moment, the NBA is hopeful that they can begin free agency directly following the NBA Draft. The 2020 NBA Draft is currently set for Nov. 18.
Having an immediate free agency process will allow players who’ve switched teams to get settled in their new home market prior to the Dec. 1 opening of training camp.
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