Chris Paul is ultra-competitive, wants to win right now, and is getting older (and his game shows it).
That does not fit with Oklahoma City’s rebuilding plan — it has stockpiled so many picks Danny Ainge feels bettered — so Thunder GM Sam Presti is expected to sit down with Paul and his agent to come up with a plan to get the future Hall of Fame point guard where he wants to be, according to multiple reports.
One complication is the three-years, $124 million Paul is owed. Heat have the salaries to match and make this work — Goran Dragic, James Johnson, Dion Waiters — and the Thunder have the picks to send East if they want. The challenge is the Thunder are $3.7 million into the luxury tax and want to shed salary, while the Heat are hard-capped after the Jimmy Butler sign-and-trade and are up against that number, they can’t take on salary.
One way or another expect the Thunder to make a move, as ESPN’s Bobby Marks notes, and don’t even think about a buyout because OCK as an organization does not want dead money on its books (which is what a buyout would leave them).
It will not be easy, but expect Paul to be traded again long before next season starts. And expect him to have a big game when he faces Houston.