The Los Angeles Lakers know they need to get some backcourt help and it comes to no surprise that two big names have been mentioned. They are no less than Russell Westbrook and Chris Paul.

According to Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated, the Lakers and LeBron James have their eyes on either Paul or Westbrook. However, the only way that this may happen is through a sign-and-trade deal.

Hence for the Lakers to land either player, a package that may include Kyle Kuzma, Talen Horton-Tucker and Dennis Schroder may be offered according to a source. For the coming season, Paul and Westbrook are set to earn $44 million.

Paul can earn that $44 million if he exercises his player option on his current contract. Westbrook, on the other hand, is due that amount plus another $47 million for the 2022-23 NBA wars if he exercises his player option.

Ironically, it was Paul and the Suns who eliminated the Lakers. But after falling short of winning an NBA title, some pundits feel Phoenix may not be willing to pick up the tab on the 11-time All-Star.

In an interview on Sports For All PH hosted by Filipino journalists Vincent Juico and Brian Yalung, IMG Associate Director weighed in on what lies ahead for CP3.

“If you’re Phoenix, you can’t just pay him $40 million and try to deal with the rest. I think it’s going to be weird,” Barto said.

The 42-year-old even suggested teams where Chris Paul could end up. However, the list did not include the New York Knicks, a team that has been long rumored of wanting to get a veteran guard next season.

“I could see him ending up in Utah or Miami, somewhere strange. I don’t see him being in New York. I could even see Chicago,” Barto quipped.

Barto believes that Paul will prefer a team where he can get along well with the coaching staff and lead the team in the same way he did with Phoenix. If he does pass on the $44 million deal, Paul could fancy a three-year deal as well.

Hence, the big question right now is whether Paul will pass up that $44 million player option to have better chances at winning an NBA title. All that should be known in the upcoming crazy offseason.

Chris Paul #3 of the Oklahoma City Thunder
Chris Paul #3 of the Oklahoma City Thunder Getty Images | Mike Ehrmann

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