There have been somewhat conflicting reports about what the Oklahoma City Thunder’s ultimate goals for Chris Paul are. The team made a huge splash on Thursday night, dealing former MVP Russell Westbrook for the aging star point guard.
The deal gives Westbrook a chance to play for a contender, and swaps two tricky contracts. It also signals a likely end to competitive basketball in Oklahoma City until the team goes through its large-scale rebuild.
Some have floated the idea that OKC will try and be competitive this year, with Paul leading a team of young players. It is more likely that Sam Presti will try and move off of Paul if possible. His deal and declining play will make that very difficult.
The Miami Heat were considered the primary trade partners for Westbrook before the Houston Rockets swooped in to make Thursday’s deal. Now, they’ve been connected with OKC in a potential Paul deal.
Unlike the Russell Westbrook trade rumors, Oklahoma City would probably need to attach assets to Chris Paul to convince the Miami Heat to take him on.
Longtime Miami Herald writer Barry Jackson says that so far, OKC hasn’t come up with an attractive enough deal for the Heat to really engage in a potential trade.
OKC, to this point, has offered nothing enticing enough to seriously interest Heat in Chris Paul talks. Heat won't close door if that changes, but this is OKC trying to move Paul, not Heat actively pursuing player
— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) July 13, 2019
The initial Westbrook-Paul trade and the late night Thunder trade of Paul George to the Los Angeles Clippers show that things can move very quickly, especially when OKC general manager Sam Presti is motivated to do a deal.
For now, it looks like we may need to hold tight on CP3 moving again, though.