Lakers receive update on potential free agency target Chris Paul

The Los Angeles Lakers have been linked to potential free agent Chris Paul. Los Angeles received an update on how likely the odds of pursuing him are.
Golden State Warriors v Sacramento Kings - Play-In Tournament
Golden State Warriors v Sacramento Kings - Play-In Tournament / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages

The Los Angeles Lakers are in the market for an upgrade at the point guard position. That doesn't necessarily mean that D'Angelo Russell is on the way out, but Los Angeles is looking for depth and quality at the position.

That search has inevitably led the Lakers to a player with ties to superstar LeBron James and head coach JJ Redick: Chris Paul.

Paul technically isn't a free agent at this stage of the process. His contract for the 2024-25 season is non-guaranteed, however, and he's expected to be targeted by the Lakers if free agency ultimately becomes an option.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Lakers will have to wait a little bit longer to find out if Paul will be available to pursue.

If Paul hits the open market, then perhaps the Lakers could convince him to take a discount as they make a run at an 18th championship—an unlikely outcome, but a fair ambition.

There are rational concerns about how Paul would fit with the Lakers. He recently turned 39 and has been plagued by a long history of injuries. He missed 23 games during the 2022-23 season, for instance, and was absent for 24 during the 2023-24 campaign.

When he was on the court, however, Paul continued to be one of the best facilitators in the NBA, averaging 6.8 assists to just 1.3 turnovers per game.

At 9.2 assists and 1.8 turnovers per 36 minutes, it's clear what kind of playmaking ability Paul still brings to the table. He's also one of the best midrange shooters in the NBA, as well as a capable three-point shooter, with defensive instincts that enable him to make a positive impact.

Throw in the fact that Paul has history with both James and Redick, and the fact that he's been linked to the Lakers should come as no surprise.

Russell has already accepted his player option, meaning that adding Paul on a minimum contract or the mid-level exception would create superior depth to what Los Angeles had in 2023-24. If Russell is traded, then Paul would likely be asked to play an elevated role.

Either way, Paul would have to take a discount that history shows he'd be unwilling to accept.

In either scenario, the Lakers would be hoping that one of the greatest point guards in NBA history has one more strong season left in the tank.