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Report: Lakers interested in Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook

New York Liberty v Las Vegas Aces

LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 14: Chris Paul #3 of the Houston Rockets, LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers and Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder attend the game between the New York Liberty and Las Vegas Aces on June 14, 2019 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by David Becker/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

The Lakers are facing a conundrum at point guard with Dennis Schroder.

Re-signing him could be expensive. But if he leaves, the Lakers would be limited to the mid-level exception for signing a replacement.

Could the Lakers come out of this tough situation with the Suns’ Chris Paul or Wizards’ Russell Westbrook?

Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated:

According to sources, LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers have been on the hunt for a veteran point guard, and Paul is on the list. There have also been talks about Washington Wizards star Russell Westbrook being a potential candidate to move back home to Los Angeles in a sign-and-trade deal that could include free agent point guard Dennis Schroder, forward Kyle Kuzma and guard Talen Horton-Tucker, sources said.

Acquiring Paul would likely require a trade – either a sign-and-trade in the likely event he opts out or a standard trade if he’d opt in. A sign-and-trade would hard cap the Lakers, so it’d be easier if he were willing to opt in. Paul did that type of arrangement to get from the Clippers to the Rockets.

But Paul chose not to join the Lakers last offseason. Especially after leading the Suns to the Finals, it seems likely he’ll stay in Phoenix.

Westbrook could be more available – especially if the Wizards pivot into rebuilding. In that event they’d probably welcome unloading the 32-year-old due $91,274,624 over the next two seasons.

How badly would the Lakers want him, though? Spacing on a team with LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Westbrook would be substandard. As talented as Westbrook is, there would be significant diminishing returns adding him to LeBron and Davis. And that’s not even getting into how Westbrook will age.

Plus, Talen Horton-Tucker will also be a restricted free agent. Getting both Schroder and Horton-Tucker to agree to a sign-and-trade would be complicated.

So, don’t count on either Paul or Westbrook landing in Los Angeles.

But with big names involved, the Lakers are at least circling.