The NBA fit in another blockbuster trade in a wild offseason with tonight’s Russell Westbrook-Chris Paul transaction. The Thunder received Paul and multiple picks from the Houston Rockets in exchange for Russ.
It is clear at this point that Oklahoma City is rebuilding. In the last week, they acquired an insane eight additional first-round picks in trades involving Westbrook, Paul George and Jeremi Grant.
So where does this leave Paul? He is owed a shade over $124 million over the next three years, and he turned 34 in May. He doesn’t seem like a strong fit on a team that is essentially starting from scratch.
There are some people who think he’s ultimately going to wind up with close friend LeBron James in LA.
Does this end up with OKC now shipping Chris Paul away … to the Lakers?
— Zach Braziller (@NYPost_Brazille) July 12, 2019
This is 100 percent gonna lead to Chris Paul getting brought out of his contract and going to the lakers
— Tony Jones (@Tjonesonthenba) July 12, 2019
Don’t think Russ & Harden can win a title, but Rockets certainly upgraded. West is gonna be so much fun
(I bet Chris Paul somehow ends up with the Lakers)
— Brian Rauf (@brauf33) July 12, 2019
However, remember, Paul is owed $124 million. That would be quite the buyout for OKC to eat.
The Thunder could also go in the direction suggested by Action Network’s Matt Moore, which involves looking for a trade partner for Paul now, or just holding on to him for a bit before making a deal.
It’s a smart move by Presti. They get the picks, it’s one year shorter. The best case is a team gets desperate and trades them more picks for CP3. The worst case is they just sit on it until it’s an expiring and THEN trade it for picks.
— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) July 12, 2019
Paul is not in his prime by any means, but he still can help a winning team.
Time will tell if he’ll be on the move again this off-season or wearing a Thunder uniform on opening night in October.