Sport: Chris Paul rumors: Could new Thunder guard join Lakers, LeBron James after potential buyout? - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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SportChris Paul rumors: Could new Thunder guard join Lakers, LeBron James after potential buyout?

19:45  15 july  2019
19:45  15 july  2019 Source:   sportingnews.com

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Getty Houston Rockets guard Chris Paul . While it appeared all along that the Miami Heat were at the The possibility of the Los Angeles Lakers adding Paul on a team-friendly deal after his potential buyout There have been rumblings that LeBron James could start at the position, and they also

Stephen A. Smith breaks down Chris Paul 's options after being traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Russell Westbrook, and if a buyout is in the making that could lead to joining LeBron James on the Los Angeles Lakers .

Chris Paul rumors: Could new Thunder guard join Lakers, LeBron James after potential buyout? © Provided by Perform Media Channels Limited

The Thunder acquired Chris Paul as part of Thursday night's blockbuster trade with the Rockets, but the future Hall of Famer shouldn't get too comfortable in Oklahoma City.

With Paul hoping to play for a real contender, and with the Thunder heading into a rebuild following the departures of Russell Westbrook and Paul George, OKC general manager Sam Presti has been attempting to find a landing spot for Paul. The Heat quickly emerged as a potential trade partner, but they don't seem all that eager to add the nine-time All-Star.

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The new contract with the Thunder has dealt a blow to the Lakers ’ hopes of building a super-team, and could make Los Angeles less attractive to LeBron . The Houston Rockets have long been identified as one of the teams closest in the running for LeBron James , and re-signing Chris Paul may have

There isn't much of a market for Paul outside of Miami, though there is one team always interested in stars of any kind. Could the Lakers make a play for Paul?

Short answer: highly unlikely.

A Lakers-Thunder trade isn't happening, so the only route would be a buyout. Paul is owed $124 million over the next three years of his contract. Either Paul would have to give a substantial amount of money back, or Presti would have to be willing to eat the cap hit.

If Paul and the Thunder somehow reached an agreement, Paul could then sign for the minimum with the Lakers and play alongside LeBron James. (Shoutout to the Banana Boat crew.) But then there are the issues that could arise with Paul's new teammates.

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You can change this preference below. After giving up Kristaps Porzingis for Dennis Smith Jr, DeAndre Jordan, Wesley Matthews & more, it looks like the Lakers have their eye on picking up DeAndre if a buyout takes place with him becoming a free agent after this season.

Just last season, Paul traded punches with Lakers guard Rajon Rondo on the Staples Center floor, continuing a beef that has been brewing for a decade. Los Angeles also recently signed DeMarcus Cousins to a one-year deal, and he doesn't have a great history with Paul. Sure, Paul's relationship with James could help ease the transition, but it's not like the Lakers need more drama right now.

Purely from Paul's point of view, he would have to be comfortable with a reduced role. That might be tough for one of the league's most intense competitors. On top of that, he would be taking a buyout and reduced salary, which isn't a great look for the president of the National Basketball Players Association.

No contract is unmovable in the NBA. Presti will keep searching for a workable trade that benefits the Thunder and Paul, but he's not going to simply do Paul a favor. He has plenty of assets from the Westbrook and George trades, so he can attach a pick to Paul if that's necessary.

Paul-to-the-Lakers is a fun topic for a debate show. It's less fun once you try to figure out how it would actually happen.

Chris Paul trade rumors: Guard expected to start next season with Thunder.
The Heat reportedly had interest in Paul at some point during the offseason, but they are no longer "actively pursuing" him.

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