After the Rockets and Thunder agreed on a trade that sends Russell Westbrook to Houston and Chris Paul to Oklahoma City, the latter’s future remains a big question. Paul wants to play for a contender and after the Thunder parted ways with Westbrook and Paul George, it’s clear the franchise has entered a rebuilding stage.
Once the trade becomes official, the Thunder will likely explore trade scenarios for Paul. To this point, the Heat appear to be the leading suitor – if not the only suitor – for Paul’s services.
“The conversation with Miami was ongoing prior to the deal that got Chris Paul to Oklahoma City,” ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said on Friday’s edition of Get Up! “He’s 34 years old, he wants to be on a team that has playoff aspirations.
“The market for Chris Paul is going to be small. But Miami is at the top of that list. They’d like to get a deal done as soon as they can.”
Wojnarowski noted that Miami does not have much cap space or draft assets to give up in a potential Paul trade. However, pairing Paul with their prized offseason acquisition, Jimmy Butler, could make the Heat a more serious threat in a wide-open Eastern Conference.
However, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald (Twitter link) relayed that Miami is doing its “due diligence” on Paul, but not aggressively pursuing the veteran.
It remains to be seen where Paul winds up for the 2019/20 season, but as Wojnarowski noted, OKC swung the deal with the intention of flipping the nine-time All-Star.
“Their hope in getting this deal done with Chris Paul was that he doesn’t play a game in a Thunder uniform,” Wojnarowski said.