While the Phoenix Suns haven’t been nearly as disappointing as the Los Angeles Lakers this season, neither team can be happy with the ending. Both teams could also have a bit of a dilemma this offseason. Both have aging point guards who may be past their prime.
Chris Paul has played a huge role in transforming the Suns from NBA bottom feeders into genuine contenders. However, he has just turned 37 and by the end of the season he is fading. Russell Westbrook is still solid, but he just doesn’t fit well into the Lakers roster. Paul has three years left on his contract and his body could let him down any year now. Westbrook is a worse player than Paul at the moment, but he only has one year left on his contract.
If Phoenix fears they’ve already hit their ceiling with Paul, they might consider sending him to Los Angeles to team up with his good friend LeBron James. First things first host Nick Wright suggested a trade between the two teams.
“Russ has just one year left on his contract if the Lakers call the Suns and say, ‘They want to pay Chris Paul, who’s going to be 38, 37, I don’t know. We like to pay old people. You want to be able to get off of Landry Shamet’s 10 million this year and next year we’re going to give you Russ plus some draft picks, future picks that could be good because by then LeBron will be gone, Chris Paul will be gone be then.’
“You can have those picks for Russ, Chris Paul and Landry Shamet and picks from the Lakers and then Suns can decide. Are we going to try to use Russ, or are we just going to buy him out?” Wright said on the “What’s Wright? With Nick Wright” Podcast.”
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It would be a great story for Paul and LeBron to team up in Los Angeles at the twilight of their careers. Paul is a much better match for the Lakers due to his skills as a ground general and middle-range shooter. The team could realistically win a championship next season with LeBron, Paul and Anthony Davis.
If they don’t, it could turn into a disaster. Paying Paul around $30 million a year for the next three seasons is very risky. He’s just one serious injury away from retiring. The Lakers took a chance on an aging guard at Westbrook last offseason, and it was a disaster.
If the Suns believe they have hit their ceiling, this trade could make sense. Deandre Ayton could leave the team on a free hand, which would blow their chances of a title shot next season. 2023 Free Agency is full of talent. The Suns suspended Devin Booker for two more seasons so they might like the idea of pairing him with another young superstar.
They could also keep Westbrook, who could form a solid duo with Booker next season. As wild as the idea of the Suns moving Paul might sound, it could actually be a smart play for their future while taking advantage of a desperate Lakers team.
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