Community Shootaround: Chris Paul

Insurance spokesman Chris Paul finds himself stranded in Oklahoma City at the moment and State Farm can’t help him.

Considered for many seasons as the world’s premier point guard, Paul is stuck on the rebuilding Thunder until GM Sam Presti can find a way to deal his monstrous contract. The Thunder granted Russell Westbrook his wish to be traded in the wake of Paul George‘s trade demand. Presti send the team’s longtime floor leader to the Rockets for Paul, a couple of first-round picks and the right to swap two others.

Paul has played most of his career with contenders that have fallen short in the playoffs. He’s now in an awkward spot with the Thunder, who are looking to build around young point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, the top player acquired from the Clippers in the George deal. Dennis Schroder, the team’s sixth man, is also a natural point guard.

The remainder of the roster won’t strike fear into the hearts of opponents. The Thunder will be fortunate to win 30 games next season.

Moving Paul to another team won’t be easy. He’s due $38.5MM next season, $41.4MM in 2020/21 and $44.2MM in 2021/22 if he exercises his player option.

Perhaps a younger Chris Paul was worth all that money but age (34) and injuries have led to a decline. He averaged 15.6 PPG on 41.9% shooting, both career lows, last season.

Paul will probably begin the season with the Thunder and have to wait at least until mid-December, when the latest crop of free agents become trade eligible, to get rescued. A point guard injury could motivate a contender to bring in Paul to save their season.

The Heat have been mentioned as the most likely trade partner but they’d want a couple of first-rounders tossed in to ease the burden of Paul’s salary-cap swallowing contract. The Pistons have also been considered a possible suitor, since they could pair up Paul with former pick-and-roll partner Blake Griffin. However, they’re not keen on Paul’s contract, either, especially with Andre Drummond potentially headed to free agency next summer.

That brings us to our question of the day: Do you think Chris Paul will be on Oklahoma City’s roster all of next season? If not, which team will trade for him?

Please take to the comments section to weigh in on this topic. We look forward to your input.

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