Heat Could Trade for Chris Paul After Missing on Russell Westbrook

Chris Paul Miami Heat Trade

Getty Chris Paul

The Miami Heat have been linked to Chris Paul in the latest NBA trade rumors. Paul’s trade to the Oklahoma City Thunder leaves more questions than answers as the Thunder appear committed to trading the point guard elsewhere.

After missing out on Russell Westbrook, the Heat have been consistently mentioned as a possible destination. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Thunder will attempt to execute “next steps” with Paul after the teams could not find a third team to get involved.

“Houston hoped to find third-team destination preferable to Chris Paul, but ultimately leaves it OKC to execute next step once Presti confers w/ CP3 agent Leon Rose. Miami remains possibility for Paul (3 years, $124M) — and OKC obviously has picks to incentivize deal, if needed,” Wojnarowski tweeted.

Paul Is Unlikely to Play in Oklahoma City & Miami Is a Possible Trade Destination

Paul in Oklahoma City is a nice story given he played there temporarily with the Hornets after Hurricane Katrina. ESPN reported that the storybook ending is unlikely to happen as the Thunder have already talked with Paul’s agents on a potential final landing spot with the Heat “prominent” in conversations.

Presti already is working with Paul’s agents at CAA Sports — Leon Rose and Steven Heumann — to redirect the nine-time All-Star to a new team, league sources tell ESPN. The Heat are prominent in the conversations, but there are other possibilities also being explored, sources said. Presti and Rose worked together last year on a similar situation with Carmelo Anthony.

Why does the Thunder want to trade Paul after just acquiring him from the Rockets in a deal? The trade was more about moving Westbrook’s salary than landing Paul. The Thunder is heading for a rebuild, and Paul does not fit that timeline. As Heat fans know from the Westbrook rumors, just because the Heat are being mentioned in regards to Paul, it does not mean the trade will happen.

The Thunder are continuing to try to move out of luxury tax territory, and the Heat are hard-capped meaning they cannot take on more salary without moving similar contracts. This creates complications in making a potential deal work as a third team would likely need to emerge to make it feasible.

The Heat’s Trade Talks for Russell Westbrook Broke Down After Miami Would Not Include Tyler Herro or Bam Adebayo

The Heat’s refusal to include Tyler Herro or Bam Adebayo likely prevented them from acquiring Westbrook, per the Miami Herald. To acquire Paul, the Heat have a good chance of doing so without losing either player but would have to take on the remaining three years of Paul’s contract that is arguably one of the worst in the league.

The Miami Herald reported there may be some reluctance as the Heat are projected to have cap space for the 2021 free-agent class. If the Heat trade for Paul, the package could include Goran Dragic along with additional players.