Officially, Chris Paul is still a member of the Phoenix Suns. He has yet to be traded to the Wizards, and the hold up in that deal is Paul himself.
As Paul, the Suns and the Wizards navigate the current situation that will almost certainly never see him play a home game in Washington, multiple teams have been considered the frontrunner for him in recent days.
First, reports indicated the Lakers would be at the front of the line if he was bought out, which felt like something close to a foregone conclusion. But then the Clippers inserted themselves as an option in a trade and, suddenly, it’s the other team in L.A. that are out in front.
According to Brian Windhorst of ESPN on Tuesday’s “Get Up,” the Clippers are the most likely to acquire Paul.
Chris Paul and the Clippers have mutual interest in reuniting, per @WindhorstESPN:— Evan Sidery (@esidery) June 20, 2023
- Clippers, not the Lakers, are favorites to acquire Paul.
- Wizards and Clippers already in discussions on potential CP3 trade package.
- Another team could become involved to help take on… pic.twitter.com/y6O6lvYmwW
The thing the Clippers have that the Lakers do not are a host of tradeable contracts. Because Steve Ballmer likes investing a ton of money into a team that regularly falls in the second round of the playoffs, the Clippers have plenty of players they could deal to Washington in a three-team trade to make this work.
The Lakers do technically have the contracts for a trade in Malik Beasley and Mo Bamba, but those are the only tradeable contracts they have in that range. And, ultimately, it’s not a good deal for the Lakers to deal their only two desirable contracts for Paul.
If Paul lands in Washington in this trade, then the Lakers are going to have a chance because he’ll likely be bought out. If Washington is insistent on involving a third team in the deal, count the Lakers out.
You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.