Tuesday, 25 February, 2020

Chris Paul May Stick With OKC As Trades Are Not 'Materializing'

Chris Paul Chris Paul Getty Images
Cary Erickson | 18 July, 2019, 10:26

Both sides believe there are benefits to Paul, 34, playing out the year with the Thunder.

Paul was acquired last week in a trade with the Houston Rockets for Russell Westbrook.

Chris Paul #3 of the Houston Rockets reacts to his basket in a 124-115 win over the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on October 20, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.

Trades are rarely won when starting from a position of weakness, and the realities of Paul's albatross contract and Oklahoma City's status as a non-contender ensures interested teams will begin conversations with some leverage over the Thunder. But as Wojnarowski mentions, the market for Paul could grow after December 15, the date when players who signed free-agent contracts this past off-season become eligible to be included in trade packages.

But according to a new report by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, that may not end up being the case. Matching Paul's salary in a deal is problematic for the Thunder at the moment. It promises to be a competitive environment for Paul to play the season.

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The Danish global has failed to sign a new contract at Spurs, meaning he will be out of contract next summer. Also last month, Rose admitted that he did not know whether he would still be with Spurs next season.

He played his first two National Basketball Association seasons (2005-07) in Oklahoma City, when the New Orleans franchise was temporarily relocated after Hurricane Katrina.

Sources told Wojnarowski the Thunder don't feel the need to surrender draft compensation to unload Paul's contract right now.

Oklahoma City has gathered eight future first-round picks in the Paul George and Westbrook trades since the start of free agency, including Miami's 2021 and 2023 first-rounders via the Clippers.

Of course, it also makes sense that Presti and company would be reluctant to dip into their treasure trove of draft picks just to trade Paul.