Time is ticking until the NBA trade deadline with fans patiently waiting for the Los Angeles Lakers to make more moves. Los Angeles has shown serious potential this season that has many fans thinking that this team is just one big move away from contending.
There are a lot of quality candidates on the trade market for Rob Pelinka and co. to explore. Regardless of if the Lakers want to make a massive trade or a smaller trade, there are options to improve the team this season.
Not every potential option is realistic, however, as NBA fans have had to endure some pretty crazy trade ideas before the deadline. The latest of which comes from Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report, who cooked up a four-team trade between the Lakers, Phoenix Suns, Minnesota Timberwolves and Charlotte Hornets that is sure to turn heads.
I respect the hustle and the creativity of this trade package but it is safe to say that it likely does not fall in the realm of possibility. Pincus left some of the ancillary pieces up for debate (such as how much draft capital or lesser role players that could be included), but here is the overall framework of the deal:
- Lakers receive: Chris Paul
- Suns receive: D’Angelo Russell,
- Timberwolves receive: Terry Rozier
- Hornets receive: Russell Westbrook
To absorb Westbrook, the Hornets would have to also trade the likes of Kelly Oubre or Mason Plumlee, both of which would be candidates to join the Lakers. For this trade to work, each team has to “touch” each other, so there would also have to be moving pieces between the Lakers and Timberwolves, Timberwolves and Hornets and Suns and Hornets.
A Chris Paul trade for the Lakers is out of the realm of possibility.
Even with all of those additional aspects to make this trade work, the chances of the Los Angeles Lakers landing Chris Paul are slim to none. The other motivations in this trade make sense (Minnesota wanting to pivot off of Russell and the Hornets wanting long-term financial flexibility by moving Rozier) but the Suns’ inclusion in this does not.
Paul is a regressing point guard and that is the entire reason why it it theorized that the Suns could move off on him. While CP3 is regressing, his contract is not that bad. He is making $28.4 million and $30.8 million next season with a non-guaranteed salary the following year. In a league where players make $40 million+, it could be worse.
Plus, the Suns are never going to get back what they should for Paul. Even with Paul’s regression, D’Angelo Russell would be a huge downgrade. Russell does not play winning basketball and there is a reason why Minnesota may want to pivot off of him in the first place.
The idea of the Suns trading Paul only to bring in Russell and potentially make him the long-term replacement is silly. They are better off riding out whatever Paul has left.
The Los Angeles Lakers have not improved this season as expected, putting the spotlight on Darvin Ham and his head coaching.
Chris Paul on the Lakers probably wouldn’t be that great, anyway. His play style would clash heavily with LeBron James and while it would improve the team this year, I am not sure if replacing Westbrook with an injury-prone old point guard who is also ball-dominant is going to fix much in a playoff series.