3. Los Angeles Lakers
Everyone knows the great friendship between LeBron James and Chris Paul, but they’re yet to play on the same team together across their decorated careers. When Paul was shipped from the Suns to the Wizards, there was a brief thought that may change before Golden State acquired the 12-time All-Star.
The Lakers have quite a balanced roster after some savvy offseason moves, but it’s also Los Angeles who are historically known for going big-name hunting. They have some financial flexibility to make a move, although not so much in the way of future assets to trade for an absolute superstar.
They could find a middle ground with Paul — someone who offers an upgrade from D’Angelo Russell and Gabe Vincent at the center position, but likely won’t cost them in the way of young players or future draft capital.
The Lakers would need to ensure they have enough shooting around Paul, James and Anthony Davis, but the point god’s basketball IQ and smarts should prevent any repeat of the disastrous Russell Westbrook experience with the franchise.
Los Angeles wouldn’t give up Austin Reaves, but they do have Russell, Vincent and Rui Hachimura all making between $10.5 and $17.3 million. Taurean Prince ($4.5 million) and/or Jarred Vanderbilt ($4.6 million) could also be included in any such deal. Regardless, a trade couldn’t be made until closer to the trade deadline given the restrictions on recently signed players.