It appears the Los Angeles Lakers are looking to make an upgrade at point guard.
According to Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated, the Lakers are interested in acquiring a veteran point guard. Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook are reportedly on their list, Spears adds.
For the Lakers to acquire Paul, it would likely take a sign-and-trade with the Phoenix Suns, Spears adds. However, if the 36-year-old declines his $44.2 million player option for the 2021-22 season, he'll likely sign a longer deal in Phoenix.
"The most the over-the-cap Lakers can offer Paul without a sign-and-trade is a $9.5 million taxpayer midlevel exception," Spears writes. "The attraction of chasing his first championship with James, Anthony Davis and the Lakers could be an appealing option for Paul to ponder. Keep in mind that Paul, a former LA Clippers star, still lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two kids."
Paul is coming off his first NBA Finals appearance in 16 seasons. His Suns came up short against the Milwaukee Bucks, losing in Game 6 after jumping out to a 2-0 series lead.
The 11-time All-Star averaged 19.2 points, 8.6 assists and 3.5 rebounds this postseason. However, he still needs a championship ring to cement his NBA legacy. It's hard to imagine Paul would pass up the opportunity to team up with James and Anthony Davis, though he could still believe the Suns have better title odds.
As for Westbrook, Spears says he could return home to Los Angeles in a sign-and-trade that could include Dennis Schroder, Kyle Kuzma and Talen Horton-Tucker.
Like Paul, Westbrook is also getting up there in age and still hasn't won an NBA title. The 32-year-old has played for the Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets, in addition to the Washington Wizards.
Last season, Westbrook averaged 22.2 points, a career-high 11.5 rebounds and 11.7 assists per game while shooting 43.9% from the field and 31.5% from deep.
It's unclear which player the Lakers would prefer. However, James has a tremendous relationship with Paul, so the Suns star could be higher on their radar.