The NBA is gearing up for a very dramatic week, as the Draft is on Nov. 18 and free agency starts two days later.
The transaction window is slated to open some time before that stretch, and marquee names have been circulating in trade talks. One of the biggest being Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul, and the Los Angeles Lakers being one of the teams tied to him.
At this point in his career, Paul does not want to be a part of a rebuild, as he is looking for his first ever championship. His connection to the Lakers not only came from his desire to win a ring, but also a previous connection with LeBron James.
The two belong to one of the NBA’s most notable friend groups. However, Paul reportedly has no interest in joining a team as established as the Lakers, as he wants to maintain his status as a leader on a team with championship aspirations, according to Stephen A. Smith of ESPN:
“CP3 does not want to go to the Lakers. He does not want to go to the Lakers. I don’t know the reasons why. I deduce from what I’ve heard, that the reasons he doesn’t want to go to the Lakers is because they’re already established, they’re already accomplished, and there’s really nothing to do for them. They would only be doing something for him, and that is ring chasing, and that’s not the kind of ring chasing that he wants to be a part of in terms of stacking the deck. He’d rather go some place where he could be himself and be the leader that he is.”
A report like this likely needs to be taken with a grain of salt, because there is almost no detail in what Smith is saying. However, there might be some truth in Paul wanting to retain a leadership role the way he was with the Thunder.
And while he would still be able to lead the way Rajon Rondo did with the Lakers, it would be James’ and Anthony Davis’ team, not his. Perhaps Paul wants to go to a place where he can create the culture. Other teams like the Phoenix Suns and L.A. Clippers have been rumored as well.
Lakers reportedly interested in Serge Ibaka, Tristan Thompson
While the Lakers certainly have a need at the guard position, they will also be looking for a big man to take the weight off of Davis during the regular season. Two names that have come up the most are Tristan Thompson and Serge Ibaka.
Thompson played with James during his second stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers, and was instrumental in their championship. Meanwhile, Ibaka would be a steal for the Lakers given his ability to stretch the floor.
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