Clippers, Thunder Inching Towards Chris Paul Trade?

Clippers, Thunder Inching Towards Chris Paul Trade?

Chris Paul may not be a free agent, but he is the hottest name available on the NBA open market. The 35-year-old point guard has been at the center of many NBA conversations recently, and it is a virtual certainty that he will not be a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder come the start of next season.

According to Ryen Russillo of The Ringer, the Los Angeles Clippers have emerged as a potential suitor for Paul’s services.

“The Clippers definitely interested in Chris Paul,” he said on his podcast this week.

“The math doesn’t really make any sense and Paul has basically told any of the teams that are interested in trading for him, ‘Hey, I don’t want you trading your player for me. I want to just come and join you,’ but that’s really hard when you’re making over $40 million a year and another year for $40 million plus for next year.

“So Paul’s not taking any kind of buyout for Oklahoma City to then try and make up the money somewhere else because I don’t know that the buyout would make a ton of sense for anybody involved, even if the buyout were really high and then Paul went ahead and made extra money.”

How serious is this potential reunion between Paul and the Clippers? Serious enough for Kawhi Leonard to get involved.

“Here’s something that did surprise me because it just feels like Kawhi is this distant, mythological creature that doesn’t talk with anybody,” Russillo continued.

“Apparently, Kawhi reached out to Chris Paul immediately and was like, ‘Hey, you should come here.’ So that part is real, the pursuit is real, the interest and the math on it from Paul’s standpoint doesn’t seem to be all that realistic.”

This past season Paul played in 70 outings for the Thunder. However, in the three years between 2016 and 2019, he missed at least 20 games in each and every campaign. Plus, he is owed $41.4 million for the 2020-21 season and has a player option worth $44.2 million for the 2021-22 season. That’s the bad.

The good is that Paul was an absolute stud for Oklahoma City. He took a group that most assumed was lottery-bound within a single win of the second round of the NBA Western Conference Playoffs. Along the way, he averaged 17.6 points and 6.7 assists per outing and was named second-team All-NBA.

It’s not hard to see why the Clippers would want Paul on the roster, particularly given Leonard’s pleas regarding the team needing a real point guard.

If a reunion with LA does not materialize, Paul has been linked closely to the Phoenix Suns. Possible trades involving the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks also remain on the table.

Where will Paul ultimately end up when it’s all said and done?

Time will tell.

Related: Is Jeremy Lin To The Warriors A Done Deal?

Anthony Amador

A graduate from the University of Texas, Anthony Amador has been credentialed to cover the Houston Texans, Dallas Cowboys, San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks and high school games all over the Lone Star State. Currently, his primary beats are the NBA, MLB, NFL and UFC.

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