Chris Paul likely won’t suit up for OKC, as the Thunder are reportedly engaged in trade talks for the 34-year-old future Hall of Famer after acquiring him in a swap with the Houston Rockets for Russell Westbrook.
The Miami Heat are said to be at top of the list of potential CP3 suitors.
Paul has three years and $124 million remaining on his current deal—he averaged career lows in points (15.6) and field-goal shooting (41.9 percent), while leading the Rockets with 8.2 assists per game.
[Sam] 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.
The picks going to the Thunder in 2024 and 2026 are protected only if they fall among the top four. In 2021, the Thunder may swap their pick, the Heat’s pick or the Clippers’ pick for the Rockets’ pick.
As recently as Tuesday, the Rockets believed a deal for Westbrook, an eight-time All-Star, was almost impossible, a person with knowledge of talks said. But Westbrook and [James] Harden strongly favored the move and a chance to play in a backcourt together, as they did for Harden’s first three NBA seasons in Oklahoma City, a person with knowledge of their thinking said.
Though the contracts of Westbrook and Paul matched, there had been an expectation that the Thunder would need a third team to take the 34-year-old Paul, rather than have him as a part of their rebuilding. When the deal could be made with just the Rockets and Thunder, it came together rapidly Thursday afternoon.