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NBA Trade Ideas: Chris Paul May Help Lakers, Not Hurt Them, in Future Playoffs
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Chris Paul is one of the premier point guards in the NBA. Any doubters of that fact were convinced on Sunday when CP3 led his New Orleans Hornets to a victory over the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers.

Paul did at it all as he put up 33 points including 17 in the fourth quarter to put away the Lakers. He also snatched seven boards and assisted 14 times along with four steals.

It was a great day for Hornets fans, but after next season Chris Paul will be a free agent, and like LeBron, he’ll be looking to move to a contender. He may even choose to opt out of his contract and leave New Orleans earlier.

If the Hornets manage to move past the Lakers, then I see no reason why’d he jump ship prematurely, but he’s gone for sure in 2012.

There have been rumors about Paul joining Michael Jordan and the Charlotte Bobcats since he is originally from North Carolina, but lately he is indicating that he wants to finish his time in the Big Easy.

The Bobcats certainly aren’t any better than the Hornets, so if Paul really wants to win a championship, he’ll be looking elsewhere, like the Lakers.

Unless Phil Jackson changes his mind, he won’t be the coach in LA next season. It will be a time of transition in Laker land and there is a sense of a big move hovering on the horizon to combat the other teams consolidating star power.

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Derek Fisher is 36 and is in his 11th season as a Laker. Last summer, Los Angeles re-signed him to a three-year deal, but retirement is lurking amid questions of his ability and health.  Backup point guard, Steve Blake, who signed a four-year deal last summer won’t be Fisher’s replacement.

Chris Paul could be just what the Lakers need to continue their dominance in the West. He’d compliment an aging Kobe and distribute the ball effectively throughout an already-talented Lakers lineup.

There have also been rumors of DPOY Dwight Howard jumping to the Lakers from Orlando, but it’s hard to bring in another top center when Andrew Bynum is healthy and at the top of his game.

There were trade talks last summer about Chris Paul in which he revealed interest in the Knicks, Mavericks and Magic. If Howard and Paul decide to form their own powerhouse in Orlando then the Lakers would miss out on both stars.

Paul hasn’t shown a lot of desire to go to LA, but it’s a possibility. However, the Lakers might be reluctant to give up young talent like Bynum or their annually super six man, Lamar Odom.

Don’t be too surprised if in a year or two you see Chris Paul at Staples Center wearing purple and yellow in the playoffs instead of dominating the Lakers like he did in Game 1.

The only problem with this scenario is the nickname CP3 could become obsolete if No. 3 Devin Ebanks is still a Laker by the time Paul comes to town.

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