The NBA scene in the City of Angels is going to be very interesting this summer. On the one hand, the Los Angeles Lakers have a truckload of question marks as an era is drawing to a close if it hasn’t ended already. Across town the Los Angeles Clippers are hopping and praying that star point guard Chris Paul doesn’t decide to leave as a free agent. The weirdest part? Paul isn’t the only player who could possibly go from one LA team to the other.
After the Clippers got ousted by the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs, Paul was asked if he would re-sign with Lob City, but declined to answer, saying he doesn’t know what he’ll do. One prediction that isn’t exactly bold is Paul staying put and switching uniforms. After all, he was traded from the New Orleans Hornets (now Pelicans) to the Lakers two summers ago, but the deal was rejected by the league and then Paul was traded to the Clippers a week later.
Paul wasn’t happy about his move to the Lakers getting cancelled, so it’s obvious he wanted to go to LA and what NBA player wouldn’t want to play for the Lakers? Furthermore, the Lakers are in desperate need of a new capable superstar to take over after Kobe Bryant is gone, which may be now. And if you think Dwight Howard or Steve Nash fits that bill, guess again.
Speaking of which, Howard could be gone this offseason via free agency as well. What would be really funny is Paul going to the Lakers and Howard joining the Clippers. The latter isn’t nearly as likely as the former, but neither is completely out of the question.
No one knows if Paul is even considering leaving the Clippers, but they certainly can’t hurt their chances by upgrading their roster. The Grizzlies — an elite defensive team — exposed the Clippers in six games, proving that Blake Griffin can’t be a force in the playoffs, which left Paul to fend for himself just like he was in New Orleans. Simply put, he can’t win by himself. That’s not to say the Clippers don’t have a capable roster overall, but no NBA team is going to win a championship with Griffin as its second-best player.
Paul will likely leave the Clippers this summer, but he may not leave Los Angeles. Either way, the Lob City will hit the panic button soon if it hasn’t already.