NBA Rumors: Chris Paul To Lakers, Heat Or Timberwolves?
Will the Oklahoma City Thunder trade Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat or Minnesota Timberwolves?
It is within the realm of possibility.
Paul, 34, is widely regarded as one of the best point guards in NBA history.
There is a reason why they call him The Point God.
Over the course of his 13 years in the league he has legitimized and led multiple franchises to decent postseason runs, including New Orleans, the Los Angeles Clippers and Houston Rockets.
Paul was traded by the Rockets for Russell Westbrook this summer after he reportedly clashed with franchise star James Harden.
Although Paul has diminished a bit with age, he can still be a very valuable contributor to a contending team.
Unfortunately, the new-look Thunder are not a contending team – they are a group comprised of mostly youngsters.
Paul simply does not fit with the roster, and it is clear that Sam Presti will have to move him sooner rather than later, or face seeing him eat into Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s development and playing time.
So what can the Thunder do with Paul?
Trade him, of course.
There are a few potential destinations for the future Hall of Famer – some of which work better than others.
It is impossible to consider options for Paul and not mention the Lakers.
Although Rob Pelinka obviously gave up the majority of the team’s trade assets in his deal with New Orleans for Anthony Davis, Kyle Kuzma remains on the roster.
And if the Thunder are really set on rebuilding around young talent, Kuzma could fit in perfectly there.
Los Angeles is planning to use LeBron James at point guard, but it remains to be seen if that is realistic given his age and the mileage on his tires.
More likely than not, the Lakers will need a real point guard.
Crew Luv pic.twitter.com/KFu9zsdVWM
— Chris Paul (@CP3) August 26, 2019
If not LA, Pat Riley and the Heat could step up to make a deal for Paul’s services.
Jimmy Butler desperately needs a running mate in Miami to take some of the offensive load off his shoulders, and Paul would fit the bill.
The Eastern Conference is wide open this year with the Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors both notably weaker than they were last season.
A Heat squad with Butler and Paul as their main tandem, along with small supplementary pieces, could do some real damage.
Another interesting wild card for Paul’s services could be the Timberwolves.
Paul has three years and $124 million remaining on his deal, and Wiggins has four years and $121 million remaining on his.
The Timberwolves would get an upgrade at point guard and the freedom to remove Wiggins’ albatross of a deal; the Thunder would get a young player with potential and the freedom to remove Paul’s albatross of a deal.
Even if the trade doesn’t prove to be a winner, it is unlikely to be a loser. Worst case scenario, both teams break even and remain exactly where they are now.
Will Paul ultimately get moved before the end of this coming season?
Where will he land?
Time will tell.