Chris Paul is no longer a member of the Houston Rockets, as he was shipped out to Oklahoma City in exchange for Russell Westbrook in perhaps the NBA’s most-shocking blockbuster move of the summer.
The All-Star point guard was rumored to be on the trading block, as it had been reported that his relationship with James Harden had soured, however Houston’s front office shot down that speculation earlier in the summer.
The speculation ended up being true, obviously, as the Rockets made the big move for Westbrook, who was open to leaving Oklahoma City following the Paul George trade.
The question now: Does Paul stay in Oklahoma City?
For a while, he probably will, but it’s possible that the Thunder will trade him at some point during the 2019-20 season (or at a later time – he’s under contract for three more years).
Who could make a trade for him?
Here are three possibilities:
1. Miami Heat
The Heat are the clear most-likely destination, as they were rumored to be interested in Westbrook. Some had reported that Houston and OKC were attempting to bring in Miami as a third team to take Paul in the Westbrook trade, too.
Miami has an aging star in Jimmy Butler and appears to be in win-now mode.
2. Minnesota Timberwolves
The Timberwolves have a highly-overpaid former No. 1 overall pick in Andrew Wiggins and a star young big man in Karl-Anthony Towns who needs more help (and to get to the playoffs).
A move for Paul would certainly help Towns, who’s yet to play with a guard as proven (or talented) as Paul.
Still, it’s tough to envision Minnesota taking on that contract. But maybe the Timberwolves will grow frustrated and make a desperate move.
3. Philadelphia 76ers
This is probably incredibly unlikely, but Philadelphia does have several huge contracts, including two to Al Horford and Tobias Harris that might not pay off fully.
The Sixers lack shooting and Ben Simmons has yet to learn how to be a huge threat on offense late in games.
If Philadelphia thinks it has a short window, and Paul looks good in Oklahoma City, maybe the Sixers shock the NBA world and take on his contract to make a push for a championship.