Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock: Chris Paul is a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Paul was traded to OKC for Russell Westbrook.
With the Thunder in rebuilding mode following the Paul George trade Westbrook had been rumored to be on the trading block.
But most of the reporting suggested Westbrook was headed to Miami. Instead, he’s in Houston, where he’ll reunite with former teammate James Harden to form one of the most explosive backcourts in recent NBA history.
An NBA source shared with me this summer that: “CP3 will end up with the Heat,” though a deal hasn’t been finalized.
A source close to Paul told Heavy that Paul would like to join the Heat.
One potential holdup back in July: The Thunder are thought to be interested in acquiring rookie guard Tyler Herro, a Kentucky product who tore it up in the summer league. But because of league guidelines on rookie contracts, the teams would have to wait 30 days following the completion of the Paul/Westbrook trade in order to orchestrate a trade involving Herro.
No new news on it.
However, appearing on the Scoop B Radio Podcast, Yahoo’s Chris Haynes shed light on Chris Paul’s future. “We haven’t heard anything serious with Chris Paul,” Haynes tells me.
“I think that Chris Paul is gonna stick with OKC, but definitely Miami is gonna be communicating frequently with Sam Presti to check on the availability of Chris Paul. I’m having a hard time believing that Chris Paul will last the whole year with OKC. He’s going to have to get out of there and I would think that Miami would always be the primary suitor.”
One looming question surrounding a potential trade for Paul has been which teams would be willing to take on the remainder of his contract. While the 34-year-old guard appears to still have good basketball left in him, it’s going to come at a high cost for any team that acquires him via trade.
As Spotrac shows, Paul is due north of $38.506 million this season, followed by more than $41.358 million in 2020-21. The nine-time NBA All-Star also has a player option worth over $44.211 million for 2021-22. The idea of paying more than $44 million to a player who would be 36 years old and is already on a slight decline isn’t appealing but Miami appears to like the potential Paul-Butler pairing.
“Jimmy, he really wanted to be in Miami,” Dwyane Wade told me.
“He wanted to be apart of the culture that Pat Riley, Erik Spoelstra, myself and Udonis have held up and created.”
Dwyane Wade, 37 retired at the end of last season. The former NBA elder statesman, a three-time NBA champion, announced his farewell NBA tour before the beginning of the 2017-2018 season.
In addition to Jimmy Butler, the Heat have rookie Tyler Herro, Goran Dragic, Udonis Haslem, Meyers Leonard, Kelly Olynyk, James Johnson, Bam Adebayo and Justice Winslow on their roster under longtime head coach, Erik Spoelstra.
The team’s season begins next month.