When I read that Chris Paul likely is hoping to have played his last game in New Orleans (source was someone close to him), and that he was hoping to be traded, my brain automatically shifted to thinking of places that he could go. Teams like the Orlando Magic and New York Knicks make sense, but I really think the Lakers should be the team to get him, and I'll explain why in this article.
Let's take a look at what's happened in the NBA so far this offseason, and honestly what that means is let's take a look at what has happened in Miami this offseason. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh are all in Miami, and it's sounding like a few other big names (Allen Iverson, Tracy McGrady, Shaquille O'Neal) are also interested in joining the Heat. Now let's take a look at the Lakers.
L.A. hasn't done much so far this offseason except for signing point guard Steve Blake. Now that there are three superstars in Miami, don't you think the Lakers are going to be looking to make a move to counter the Heat? If they want to win the NBA Finals for the third year in a row, they better be looking at making a move.
Now that it sounds like Chris Paul wants to be traded and has listed the Lakers as a preferred team, wouldn't a team that wants to bring in a third star of their own have to look at dealing for him? The Lakers already have Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol, but where is that third star that can take over the game for them?
However, there is one obstacle to the Lakers making a trade. Who do they have to give up in return for someone of Chris Paul's caliber? They could throw together a package of Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum along with picks. However, New Orleans is desperate to unload guys like Emeka Okafor, James Posey, and Peja Stojakovic. I think the Lakers could get a deal done if they were willing to take back one or two of those three guys.
In closing, if the Lakers bring in Chris Paul, they put themselves on an equal playing field with the Heat.
Miami Heat Starting Lineup
PG: Mario Chalmers
SG: Dwyane Wade
SF: LeBron James
PF: Chris Bosh
C: Zydrunas Ilgauskas?
Los Angeles Lakers Starting Lineup
PG: Chris Paul
SG: Kobe Bryant
SF: Ron Artest
PF: Pau Gasol
C: Emeka Okafor?
If you ask me, those lineups look very fair and very competitive. The Lakers have to make a counter move to the Heat's acquisition of James and Bosh. Trading for Chris Paul would be the perfect move.