NBA Rumors: Are Thunder Trading Chris Paul To Mavericks or Heat?
Is Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Chris Paul on the trading block again?
One possible destination for Paul is the upstart Dallas Mavericks. The Mavs finished with a woeful 33-49 (.402) win-loss record and missed the playoffs for the third straight season.
However, Dallas is off to a surprising 4-2 start in 2019-20. Most of the credit belongs to the explosive Luka Doncic-Kristaps Porzingis tandem.
According to Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley (via FadeawayWorld.net’s Nico Martinez), Paul could join Doncic and Porzingis before the February trade deadline:
The Dallas Mavericks might be closer to contending than everyone thinks if the Luka Doncic-Kristaps Porzingis pairing looks as good in practice as it sounds in theory. But this club could use another shot-creator, and Paul sits several stories above incumbents Deion Wright, Seth Curry, and J.J. Barea.
Buckley also cited ESPN’s Tim MacMahon, who reported Paul wanted more set plays in 2018-19 (his last season with the Houston Rockets). Dallas coach Rick Carlisle – one of the best strategists in the NBA – could grant Paul’s request.
Paul brings veteran leadership and savvy to a young Mavericks team. Paul’s scoring and playmaking are vital assets. There’s no question he can help Dallas return to the postseason.
On the other hand, USA TODAY’s Mark Medina mentioned the possibility of a Paul trade during a Reddit Q&A session (via Bleacher Report’s Tim Daniels) last week.
Medina said the Thunder are shopping Paul because they want to pile up on “young talent and draft picks.” Unfortunately, other teams are having second thoughts because of Paul’s “age, injury history, and contract,” per USA TODAY.
For his part, The Ringer’s Ryan Russillo told “The Woj Pod” (via Bleacher Report) Paul is keen on playing for the Milwaukee Bucks. The 34-year-old Paul has never won an NBA title in his 15-year pro career. If he does play with 2019 NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo in MIlwaukee, he could end that drought
It’s only been a month since Chris Paul first wore an OKC jersey. This early, he has been the subject of several trade rumors. The young Thunder have won just two of their first six games. If they are building for the future, then Paul becomes a short-term fix.
The challenge for Oklahoma City general manager Sam Presti is to find takers for him. The reasons why other teams are holding off on Paul (age, injury history, and contract) are legitimate.
Taking everything into consideration, NBA fans shouldn’t act surprised if Chris Paul leaves Oklahoma City. The Thunder are putting the building blocks in place. Plus, Paul is hungry for his first NBA championship ring (don’t expect OKC to become title contenders in 2019-20). He could very well earn that accolade somewhere else.