Where Would the Lakers Be if They Had Chris Paul?

Published on 30-Jan-2014 by Stacey Mickles

Basketball - NBA    NBA Daily Review

Share this article

Where Would the Lakers Be if They Had Chris Paul?

The NBA and soon-to-retire commissioner David Stern -- tomorrow -- may have made the biggest mistake ever in league history.

Stern wouldn't let one of the league's biggest cash cows, the Los Angeles Lakers, trade for point guard Chris Paul.

Paul was in New Orleans at the time and wanted to be a Laker, but Stern wouldn't allow the trade to go through. Instead, the Lakers' cross-town rival Clippers acquired him, and boy, what difference that has made!

Now, with Paul, the once-lowly Clippers are contenders in  the West. The Lakers on the other hand, have turned into the Clippers.

Kobe Bryant has been hurt most of the season; so has Steve Nash. Dwight Howard, whom they thought would be the future face of the franchise, left for Houston. Injuries keep piling up.

Which leads me to this question: Where would the Lakers be if they had Chris Paul? If David Stern would've let this deal go through, surely the Lakers would be better than 16-30 and fourth in their division.

I'm not saying Paul alone would have made a huge difference, but it couldn't hurt. You have to believe that his 20 points and 11 assists a game average would have the Lakers more competitive than they are right now.

And Kobe could have groomed Paul to be the next face of the franchise. Unlike Howard -- who obviously didn't want to take on a real leadership role with the team -- Paul and Blake Griffin are the face of the Clippers.

No longer are they the red-headed step children of Los Angeles. Had Paul ended up with the Lakers, there may not have been much of a drop-off in talent or leadership as there is now.

As it stands, the Clips are posed to make noise in the playoffs while the Lakers are poised to be a lottery team.

My, have times have changed.

Click on a photo to enlarge.