The Los Angeles Lakers are not sitting idle this summer and are looking to add a third superstar piece to their LeBron James and Anthony Davis puzzle. The 17-time NBA champions suffered a first-round defeat in the playoffs this season, and are keen to ensure they are prepared for a title assault next season.
It became clear that with an injured Davis and a half-fit James, the Lakers needed more star power to shoulder the burden if they want to win another title. As per The Undefeated's Marc J Spears, the Los Angeles franchise want to add a veteran point guard with Phoenix Suns' Chris Paul and Washington Wizards' Russell Westbrook pinpointed as options.
"LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers have been on the hunt for a veteran point guard, and Paul is on the list. There have also been talks about Washington Wizards star Russell Westbrook being a potential candidate to move back home to Los Angeles in a sign-and-trade deal," Spears wrote.
The Lakers are willing to give up free agent point guard Denis Schroder, forward Kyle Kuzma and guard Talen Horton-Tucker as part of the deal to sign one of the future Hall of Famers. Moreover, giving up players is the only way Frank Vogel's team can afford one of the high earning veterans.
Paul, whose Suns lost the NBA Finals to the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday night, can opt out of his $44 million deal (£32m) with his current employers. There is talk that he will re-sign with the Suns having guided them to the finals in his first season with the franchise, but the veteran point guard did not commit when asked about his plans before the dust had settled on their finals loss.
"We just lost a few minutes ago, you know what I mean? Right now we're going to process this and figure this out. I think everything else will take care of itself," Paul said.
Former Lakers president of basketball operations and five-time NBA champion Magic Johnson was quick to jump on the Paul bandwagon as soon as the Suns lost to the Bucks in Game 6 of the finals. He believes James should be on the phone to his best friend should he decide to opt out of his final year with the Suns.
"If Chris Paul opts out of his contract with the Suns, his first call should be from his best friend LeBron James and the Lakers," Johnson wrote.