Published: Fri, July 19, 2019
Sport | By Ruben Hill

Chris Paul Might Play in OKC After All

Chris Paul Might Play in OKC After All

However, the market for Paul will likely increase after December 15, the date free agents signed this off-season can be traded.

While both parties were interested in a trade from OKC, Wojnarowski notes that nothing satisfactory has materialized and both sides recognize the benefits of Paul playing the year with the Thunder.

Late last week, the Houston Rockets traded Paul and two future first-round picks to the Thunder for Russell Westbrook in a blockbuster deal.

A native of Winston-Salem, NC, the Wake Forest product has three years remaining on a four-year deal that carries an annual average salary of just under $40 million.

A starting five of Paul, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Danilo Gallinari, Andre Roberson and Steven Adams has the potential to be a frisky team. While he's hardly a building block given his advanced age and recent regression, Paul sticking around in OKC for a year might not be the worst thing in the world. It promises to be a competitive environment for Paul to play the season.

The Thunder officially acquired Paul on Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time), in exchange for longtime Oklahoma City talisman Russell Westbrook. Paul played in Oklahoma City during the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons while the at-the-time Hornets were dislodged from New Orleans because of Hurricane Katrina. But the Thunder are content on keeping him on the roster rather than surrender draft-pick compensation to unload his contract, according to the report - for now, at least. While there were likely many fans that wanted to see current star Jimmy Butler paired with the former All-Star, it can not be ignored that adding Paul to Miami's roster would've dramatically reduced its options both in the 2020 and 2021 offseasons due to his massive, multi-year contract. The Thunder could have as many as 15 first-round picks between the 2020 and 2026 National Basketball Association drafts.

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