Among the biggest moves of the summer was the famous Westbrook/CP3 swap — the trade that brought Westbrook to Houston and sent Chris Paul packing to Oklahoma City. Both teams got what they wanted, but what happens now?
As the Thunder prepare to start their rebuild this upcoming season, Paul’s status as a 34-year-old veteran seems counterintuitive to what the team is trying to do. Almost as soon as the trade happened, folks started working out scenarios that would see him out.
Although nothing has happened yet, a lot of people do not expect CP3 to play a single game in a Thunder jersey. Bleacher Report’s Preston Ellis considers himself in that camp and even went so far as to suggest a trade to the Heat was inevitable.
Moving Chris Paul has long been a source of consternation and anticipation for fans of the Point God. But with his astronomical three years and over $124 million remaining on his contract, how will any team find the motivation, much less the salary, to make it work?
The problem goes even deeper. With nearly 40 percent of the league’s players signing deals this summer, many aren’t even eligible to be dealt until Dec. 15. However, one team fits the bill in need and finances: the Miami Heat. Better still, they’ve already shown interest in the 34-year-old.
In the proposed trade deal by Ellis, the Thunder would be trading Chris Paul and a top-10 protected 2020 first-round pick to the Heat in exchange for Goran Dragic and Kelly Olynyk.
Essentially, Miami would be dealing one large contract for another and taking in what some still believe is a top-20 player in the process. The pairing with Jimmy Butler would guarantee them a playoff spot.
It would have to be the first of many moves for the Heat, but it’s a good place to start nonetheless.