Magic Johnson Urges Chris Paul to Join LeBron James and the Lakers If He Opts Out of His Player Option

Published 07/21/2021, 1:44 AM EDT
Lebron James, USA, celebrates victory with team mate Chris Paul during the Men’s Basketball Final between USA and Spain at the North Greenwich Arena during the London 2012 Olympic games. London, UK. 12th August 2012. Photo Tim Clayton (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)


Chris Paul came so close and was yet so far from winning the NBA championship. The Phoenix Suns could not get it done in Game 6 as they lost 105- 98. Chris Paul has never been this close to an NBA final before. However, his wait to add a championship to his name continues.

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The Phoenix Suns, after being up 2-0 in the series, lost 4 games in a row. They had gained the upper hand in every game but failed to take it through all the way. Likewise, in Game 6, the Suns were leading at halftime. However, a 20 point quarter by Giannis Antetokounmpo saw the score level at the end of 3 quarters.

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From there, the Suns couldn’t get it going in the 4th, missing shot after shot. Giannis had a monster night with 50 points, 14 rebounds, and 5 blocks. Now, Paul has his player option and can be a free agent this coming season. Former Lakers GM, Magic Johnson expects CP3 to join the Lakers.

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Magic Johnson recruiting Chris Paul?

Following Phoenix’s loss in the NBA finals, Magic Johnson took no time to address Chris Paul being a free agent. Through a tweet, Magic said that Chris Paul should consider the Lakers if he decides to decline his player option.

Chris was very close to joining the Lakers back in 2011. Unfortunately, the league vetoed a three-team deal that would send Chris Paul to the Lakers, joining Kobe Bryant.

Now, Chris Paul has a good shot to join his best friend, LeBron, and join the Lakers. CP3 has a $44 million player option with the Suns. If Paul does decide to decline his player option, he will be free to join any team. The Lakers are in desperate need of a playmaker and Chris Paul could fit right in.

May 23, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) falls over Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (3) in the second half during game one in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

However, the chances of Cp3 leaving the Suns are slim. He has a great group with the Suns along with long-time coach, Monty Williams. He won his first-ever conference finals with the Suns. Phoenix is the only team that helped Paul have a real chance to win. While the Lakers offer a similar chance, Chris Paul may choose to stay with Devin Booker and the Suns after their success this season. He may decline the player option and try for a long-term deal.

Could a CP3 move to the Lakers work?

Los Angeles Lakers need a player who can spread the floor and keep their offense going. While LeBron James has taken that role, the surrounding pieces are not reliable. If Chris were to join LeBron, that would change the scenario completely.

May 30, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) passes the ball against Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (3) and guard Devin Booker (1) during the first half in game four of the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs. at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

With CP3, LeBron will be able to play much more freely as compared to right now. The Lakers championship chances would grow even stronger with LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Chris Paul in the mix. They will have the firepower to compete with a team like the Brooklyn Nets.

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May 9, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (3) goes up for a shot while Los Angeles Lakers guard Wesley Matthews (9) and guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (1) defends during the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports | Courtesy: Reuters

Moreover, it also serves Chris well as he is very keen on winning a championship. Paul can strengthen the Lakers roster with his leadership and passing ability. CP3 is known to transform organizations. Now, imagine him in a team that has already won a championship as a unit. The Lakers will become a force to be reckoned with.

If Chris Paul decides to leave the Suns, where do you want to see him? Let us know in the comments below.

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Anuj Talwalkar

142 articles

Anuj Talwalkar is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He is a student studying at NM College in Mumbai, aspiring to pursue sports management to follow his love for sports. Anuj started following the NBA last year, and he loves to combine his passion for writing with his understanding of basketball.

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