Kyrie vs CP3: Which star point guard should the Lakers sign?

Chris Paul, Houston Rockets and Kyrie Irving, Boston Celtics. Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images
Chris Paul, Houston Rockets and Kyrie Irving, Boston Celtics. Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images /
2 of 4
Los Angeles Lakers
Chris Paul, Phoenix Suns. Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images /

Making the case for Lakers to sign Chris Paul

Chris Paul and LeBron James have been close for a long time. They have been leaders for the player’s union, have coordinated on social justice action, and even vacationed together – leading to the famous “banana boat” picture. The only member of that group that James hasn’t played with yet is Chris Paul:

The Lakers made the Western Conference Finals this season and have two of the 15 or so best players in the NBA, and Chris Paul would almost certainly have a starting spot if he joined the Lakers. That’s why he might choose Los Angeles; why would they choose him?

Even at 38 years old, Paul is one of the best pick-and-roll guards in the league. He’s an excellent passer, dribbles with the ball on a rope and is a midrange assassin. He continues to rack up steals and is only a liability defensively in the most difficult matchups. Paul is still a really good player who has plenty left in the tank.

Financially, Paul will be available at a much lower number than Kyrie Irving. Given the $15.8 million he will already have from the Phoenix Suns, he probably will be looking for contracts at the Non-Taxpayer MLE range (MLE), which is $12.2 million this summer, or perhaps even less. The more he signs for, the more money is offset from what the Suns owe him, so he won’t be as motivated to seek out every possible dollar.

Finally, Paul has a long track record of being a consummate professional, a locker room leader (even if he can be annoying in his pushing of teammates) and of accepting his declining role as he ages. Paul certainly is dealing with more and more injuries as he ages, but he isn’t a risk to disappear in the middle of a season. The Lakers would be signing a mature, dependable player.