OKC Thunder: Chris Paul can guarantee a championship ring – for a hefty price

Richard Jefferson jokes he’ll sell his NBA title ring to OKC Thunder captain Chris Paul for a hefty price.

The OKC Thunder has delivered exciting games this season boasting a 40-24 record through 64 games prior to the suspension. Much of the credit for the competitive nature of this iteration of the team can go to the team’s captain Chris Paul.

The Point God (or King Clutch as we like to call him) has delivered an incredible campaign and reclaimed his upper echelon status. Paul turned 35 this week (May 6th) and while that is typically the point where most players witness a substantial regression in their production he’s looked rejuvenated in OKC.

And, while the All-Star guard continues to impress the one thing he’s missing is a championship ring. In fact, he’s never been to an NBA Finals.

His play this season has many in the media discussing what he’ll do moving forward. The Knicks and his former player agent (Leon Rose) are said to have an interest in bringing the guard to New York to help the youngsters in the Mecca gain confidence and instill culture.

Related Story: Pros and cons of trading Chris Paul to Knicks

That may not be on the agenda for Paul who is one of the scrappiest competitors in the association. CP3 has stated repeatedly he wants to be on a squad with title aspirations and clearly his goal is to add a title to his resume.

With so few teams who are clear title favorites, the shortlist might be three or four teams. Still, adding Paul to a club who is just one player from becoming that title favorite is an option. That said, sending him to that team isn’t that simple because the OKC Thunder would have to get get back players and likely draft picks in any trade. That fact alone would mean the trading team would lose some of their mettle to land Paul.

Then factor in Paul is set to earn substantial money over the next two seasons with $41,358,814 due in 2020-21 and $44,211,146 in 2021-22. The latter has a player option attached.

And that became the focus of NBA the Jump this week as the panel debated whether Paul should opt out of the $44M in order to land on a championship squad.

While the entire panel decided it wasn’t a smart move to give up generational money, Richard Jefferson had an option. The former NBA journeyman has a ring from his time with the Cavaliers as he was part of the Cav’s crew who came back from 1-3 on the Warriors to win the title.

Jefferson cheekily proposed CP3 give up his $44 million in exchange for that 2015-16 title ring. Obviously, that’s not a real offer (well – – to anyone but RJ), but the panel did make a valid point. At some point, Paul will need to decide what is more valuable to him. Setting up his family for life or winning a title.

It’s not a guarantee even if he opted out or took a reduced salary it would equate to getting that ring. Then again, it’s not like Paul isn’t making substantial money already including the over $40 million he’ll take in next season. Perhaps we’re not the right ones to offer a suggestion since that type of money is mind-boggling to the average citizen.

Chris Paul is a very smart man – I’m sure he’ll make the right choice when the time comes. Here’s hoping regardless of the choice he makes the Point God does eventually get a ring to add to his Hall of Fame resume.

Next: 35 moments in honor of Chris Paul’s 35th birthday
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