Warriors

Warriors

While the Warriors try to solve Kawhi Leonard and the Toronto Raptors in the NBA Finals, two of the Dubs' biggest rivals -- the Rockets and LeBron James -- are sitting at home trying to figure out a way to match the two-time defending champions.

With the Rockets trying to revamp their team to better combat the Warriors, and the Lakers trying to find another star to pair with James, there's a chance the two teams' offseason plans could converge this summer. 

As ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported, the Rockets are currently putting every player, except James Harden, on the trading block in an attempt to build a better team around the 2018 NBA MVP. If Houston has any hope of giving Harden more to work with, the Rockets likely would need to find a way to move Chris Paul and the massive four-year, $160 million contract he signed last summer. 

For most teams, taking on Paul's contract would be a complete non-starter. But the Lakers, should they strike out in free agency, could be one of the few teams interested a Paul trade, according to Sporting News' Sean Deveney.

"Charlotte and Miami are among the teams that could be interested in Paul, " Deveney writes. "Phoenix is weighing its options at point guard, but there is an outside chance they'd get involved. And keep an eye on the Lakers or Knicks - it's likely that one of them will strike out in free agency and need a face-saving trade to rescue the summer. Paul is a face-saving trade target."

 

Hey, having half of the banana-boat crew in L.A. would be appealing to James, right? At least they could have really killer wine parties starting in April.

The Lakers, of course, will have their eyes on bigger fish to begin the summer, as the Purple and Gold look to land either Leonard, Kyrie Irving, Klay Thompson or Jimmy Butler in free agency.

Should they strike out, though, the Lakers would have the cap space to absorb Paul's contract without having to match salaries, thus being able to retain their young core.

Paul, now 34, saw his play drop off this past season. He averaged just 15.6 points per game while shooting 41.9 percent from the floor and 35.8 percent from the 3-point line. His play in the pick-and-roll, also took a hit, as he scored just 0.87 points per 100 possessions in the pick-and-roll this season. That's down from the 1.02 points per 100 he netted in the pick-and-roll last season. 

The Lakers adding Paul, at least at the moment, feels like a long shot. 

Despite the dysfunction in L.A., the Lakers still have a puncher's chance at landing a marquee free agent, and it's still hard to see Houston pushing the eject button on the Harden-Paul tandem after just two seasons. 

But after two straight defeats at the hands of the Warriors, Harden and Paul had some chemistry issues, and now the Rockets are left looking for answers.

The Lakers have been searching for answers ever since James hurt his groin during a Christmas Day win over the Dubs, and Paul could give James the running mate he desires. Or at least the appearance of one.

[RELATED: LeBron fuels Kyrie-to-Lakers talk with Instagram activity]

The NBA summer is about to be wild.