Despite all noted efforts this offseason, multiple outlets are now reporting that the Oklahoma City Thunder may not be able to trade away Chris Paul before the start of the upcoming NBA season. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski took to social media on Wednesday afternoon, citing that although discussions have been had between Thunder GM Sam Presti and other teams about Paul’s services, there is growing belief that Paul may be a part of the small rebuild that is expected to take place this season.
Paul, who is 34 years old and expected to make nearly 39 million dollars next season, has reportedly warmed up to the idea of staying in Oklahoma City for the short term. Sources note that both the Thunder and Paul’s inner circle believe that Oklahoma City may not be able to compete for Western Conference titles in 2019/2020, but that Paul can serve as a mentor to younger players, especially recently acquired Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Similar information has also noted that the Thunder believe there will be more success for potential trades come December 15th, when recently signed free agents are allowed to be dealt away in trade packages.
Paul previously played in Oklahoma City from 2005-2007 as part of New Orleans Hornets, who were displaced by Hurricane Katrina at the time. Although a CP3 deal may have stalled, Oklahoma City still may have upwards of 15 first-round draft picks from 2020 through 2026, with more information to be released in the coming weeks.