• Chris Paul could still end up playing for the Lakers nine years after his supposed transfer was stalled
  • Lakers would have to unload five players for Paul
  • Paul has led the OKC Thunder in securing a spot for the NBA Playoffs

In the aftermath of the Oklahoma City Thunder’s win over the Los Angeles Lakers, a previously denied deal is being given a rebirth. Chris Paul, who spearheaded OKC’s charge on Wednesday, is back in the Lakers’ rumor mill as a blockbuster trade involving a bunch of L.A.’s starters is projected to be in the works.

Nine years and already a number of transfers since his stalled move to the Lakers, Paul has found himself in a familiar discussion that links him to the storied franchise. But a lot has changed since and the urgency to go after the 10-time All-Star is not as high as that of in 2011. Nonetheless, considering a swap deal for him remains feasible, according to Jonathan Kiernan of the Lake Show Life.

It will take an extensive study before the Lakers pull the trigger on the move that would allow Paul to team up with LeBron James. Paul’s expensive contract is seen as a telling factor that might impede a deal, but the value he continues to give to the game still makes him an interesting target that is worth taking a chance.

Based on Kiernan’s trade projection, L.A. would have to give up Danny Green, JaVale McGee, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope – three of whom are part of the team’s usual starting five – along with James’ backups at point, namely Rajon Rondo and Quinn Cook, in order to acquire Paul.

“Chris Paul on the Los Angeles Lakers would put an end to a chapter that began nine years ago,” Kiernan wrote.

“While his powers have lessened over time, Chris Paul is still an incredibly effective player who would make the Los Angeles Lakers significantly better.

“The Laker’s biggest weakness this season has been secondary playmaking. That now becomes their biggest strength as with Chris Paul and LeBron James you automatically have the two best floor generals in the NBA on one team.

“The Lakers can stagger their minutes in such a way where they are never without one of CP3 or LBJ on the floor at any one time.”

At 35 years old playing in his 165h season in the NBA, Paul remains one of the best guards in the league. In his first season in OKC, the future Hall of Famer was named an All-Star anew as he racked up 17.8 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 6.8 assists while leading the Thunder into a spot for the Playoffs.

Chris Paul Houston Rockets
Chris Paul #3 of the Houston Rockets reacts against the Golden State Warriors in the fourth quarter of Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center on May 24, 2018 in Houston. Ronald Martinez/Getty Images