Oklahoma City Thunder surprised everyone by finishing as the fifth seed last season. Led by veteran Chris Paul, they were one of the most delightful teams in the league. However, Paul has now been rumored to leave, with the Lakers and the Bucks both supposedly interested.
Paul’s close friend, Dwyane Wade, was hyped at the prospect of Paul teaming up with LeBron James.
“If that moment ever happens, you’re putting some of the greatest basketball minds together,” Wade said during his appearance on ESPN’s First Take.
“You saw it this year when LeBron and Rondo were on the court together. These are two of the smartest basketball players that have ever played the game. You saw they thought the game two-three steps ahead of the opponents.
“Chris Paul is in the same conversation. I’ve always said LeBron, CP, and Rondo are the smartest basketball players ever. When you think about what LeBron and Rondo accomplished this year, how they made that team work, if you add CP to that same kind of mix, Jesus Christ that’s domination.”
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Will Chris Paul get his move to the Lakers?
Although all parties might be willing to do the trade, Paul’s contract is a huge hurdle. The 34-year-old is going to make $41 million in the upcoming season.
Aside from LeBron and Anthony Davis, only Danny Green is on such a large contract. So to trade for Paul, they will have to throw in 4-5 players to make the salaries work.
The Lakers were willing to have a third max contract player in the previous off-season in Kawhi Leonard. But Paul is older and is on a much larger contract, so they might not be eager to pull the trigger on this trade.
Except for Green, the other players the Lakers have under contract are on value-for-money deals. So the Lakers would be silly to give up 4-5 players for 1.
There is no doubt about the quality he would add to the team. But sadly for Paul, his contract may hinder him from getting a move to a contending team this season. His wait for a ring is likely to continue.
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