In the news: Chris Paul current status, trade speculation, and suggested destinations

OKC Thunder : Chris Paul, and Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat pose for a photo after exchanging jerseys (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images)
OKC Thunder : Chris Paul, and Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat pose for a photo after exchanging jerseys (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images) /

OKC Thunder in the news for Thursday, August 22 focuses on speculation over potential trade partners and landing destinations for Chris Paul.

When the OKC Thunder traded Russell Westbrook to the Houston Rockets and got veteran star Chris Paul in return most pundits surmised his stay would be a short one. Short, as in some figured General Manager would flip the scrappy point guard or negotiate a buyout.

Flash forward over a month later and CP3 seems to be invested in staying with the OKC Thunder at least for the short term.

The buyout was never an option; not with Paul set to earn a tidy $38,506,482 in this season’s campaign. Factor in there are another two years on the 34-year-old’s contract worth $41,358,814 in 2020-21 and $44,211,146 in 2021-2022. None of those seasons have a team or player option, nor would it be likely Paul who’ll by 36 in that last contracted year would exercise an option if he had one.

Thunder expected to push ‘keeping CP3 narrative’:

That won’t stop Presti from searching for a viable deal or Paul from being a professional while he’s in Oklahoma City. Afterall it behooves both parties for the point guard to feature himself in the best possible light. Hey, this is not another Carmelo Anthony situation. Paul is a spectacular playmaker and while his stats aren’t what they used to be how much of that was a result of playing alongside James Harden?

It’s been suggested the Thunder will push the narrative they’re happy to keep Paul and why shouldn’t they? I dove into the argument regarding how long Paul’s tenure might be and his trade value in a follow up to the discussion the panel had on The Jump.

Mavericks as trade destination?

Whether you buy the argument the Thunder will exercise patience (raises hand) or not it doesn’t mean trade suggestions won’t arise. Thunderous Intentions will consider scenarios as well, it’s just our T.I. team opinion is that event won’t happen until a date closer to the trade deadline.

Writer Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report believes the Mavericks offer a suitable landing spot where he could form a Big 3 alongside youngsters Kristaps Porzingis and 2019 Rookie of the Year Luka Doncic.

"If the Mavericks start out the season in playoff contention, Paul is the type of high-upside player Mark Cuban may be willing to take a chance on. His contract also aligns with Doncic’s rookie deal, meaning by the time Dallas would have to give the reigning Rookie of the Year a likely max extension, Paul’s contract would be off the books."

Keep tabs on the Heat:

The Miami Heat were the team most mentioned in the Russell Westbrook sweepstakes and remain a potential trade partner for Paul. Initial talks fizzled out and as mentioned, the Thunder are more than willing to wait.

Bleacher Report Writer Joe Tansey followed up on the Heat situation shortly after Woj’s social media comments.

Tansey took the stance the Thunder would need to “pay” to offload the contract and further suggested the Thunder would need to take on unattractive assets (and their bad contracts).

"Oklahoma City has done well collecting assets in the George and Russell Westbrook trades, but it may have to take a hit in order to make the Paul transaction happen.The Thunder might have to take on expiring contracts of Goran Dragic, James Johnson or Meyers Leonard, who are all making over $10 million, for the Heat to justify bringing on Paul’s massive deal."

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Although this may end up being the case as Royce Young stated on The Jump (same video as above) OKC are willing to wait even if that means playing Paul through this season and re-entering the conversation again next offseason when the crop of elite talent will pale in comparison to next July.

Five potential landing spots:

Shortly after the trade writer Brad Berreman of The Stepback offered up an early take with five teams who the Thunder should pursue as ultimate destinations for Paul. Along with the previously mentioned Mavericks and Heat Berreman suggests the LA Lakers, Detroit Pistons and San Antonio could also present opportunity.

"The Spurs were on the periphery of rumors surrounding Westbrook, so they may be looking to add a significant piece. They won’t be able to offer potential premium draft picks looking down the road, but the Thunder don’t need to add to their already impressive haul of future assets."

What we do know is Paul has spent time working out with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and investing in getting ready for the 2019-20 campaign. The adage, hurry up and wait seems to be fitting. In the interim SGA and the OKC Thunder will enjoy seeing Chris Paul back on the hardwood in Oklahoma City again.

That wraps up OKC Thunder in the news for August 22. Be sure to check out today’s T.I. features: a comparison article on Chris Paul versus John Stockton, a review of the Dennis Schroder trade one year later posted today and one John Schuhmann stat which opened the door for a potential offensive issue in the OKC Thunder offense.

Next. 11 best Thunder acquisitions in franchise 11-year history. dark

And, come back tomorrow for more insight and opinions from the team at Thunderous Intentions. Have a wonderful Thursday