Latest On Chris Paul, Heat

The blockbuster trade between the Thunder and Rockets that will send Russell Westbrook to Houston and Chris Paul to Oklahoma City has yet to be technically finalized, but OKC’s head of basketball operations Sam Presti continues to explore potential destinations for Paul.

Although the Heat appear to be the most likely suitor for Paul, Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald continues to be skeptical of Miami’s level of interest in the veteran point guard. According to Jackson, the Heat are listening to the Thunder and won’t rule anything out, but they’re not actively pursuing CP3.

Appearing on SportsCenter on Monday, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst outlined some of the obstacles in the way of a deal between the Heat and Thunder, as Chris Grenham of relays.

“When you talk about [Paul] potentially going to the Miami Heat, which is his preference, one thing I’ve been told in the talks; the fact that the Thunder hold the two of the Heat’s first-round picks in the future — unprotected 2021, protected 2023 — makes this a difficult conversation because the Heat want those picks back,” Windhorst said (video link). “The Thunder have expressed an interest in giving one of those picks back, but they would want another pick farther off into the future.

“So I do think that these two teams have a lot to talk about, but because of those picks, it’s something that could get complicated, and the Thunder have let it to be known they are in no hurry.”

In his analysis of the potential trade discussions between the two clubs, Jackson conveyed a similar sentiment, suggesting that the Heat would want their draft picks back from the Thunder and cautioning that he wouldn’t expect Presti to be on board with that. Jackson also speculated that the Heat might want Paul to agree to decline his 2021/22 player option to help the club maintain future cap flexibility — that would be a lot to ask of the nine-time All-Star, whose option will be worth $44.2MM.

As cap expert Albert Nahmad notes (via Twitter), the Thunder acquired two first-round picks by swapping Westbrook for Paul. If Oklahoma City were to surrender two first-rounders to move Paul, the club wouldn’t really be coming out ahead in terms of assets, and would have little to show for giving up its former MVP. Presumably, the Thunder will be prepared to hang onto Paul into the season if Miami (or another team) isn’t willing to meet their asking price.

While the Heat still look like the best potential fit for Paul, there are so many complicating factors involved – including both teams’ cap and tax concerns – that it’s hard to imagine Miami and Oklahoma City quickly bridging the gap and agreeing to terms. It will be interesting to see if the Thunder and Rockets finalize their part of the trade this week, or if they continue to hold off on making it official in case it can be turned into a three-team deal.

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41 thoughts on “Latest On Chris Paul, Heat

  1. iamoldboy

    I don’t think anyone should be surprised that it is going to be very difficult for the Thunder to trade Paul. I quite frankly don’t see why anyone would want him with that salary.

    • jkoms57

      What do you think about back home to Atlanta?

      Chandler Parsons, Solomon Hill .. can even add a lotto protected 1st.

      CP3, Trea Turner, Collins.. not bad for the East

      • RootedInOakland

        Not sure the Nats wanna get into this 3 team deal after their recent hot streak but u never know with Rizzo

        • jkoms57

          I think CP3 and Young (not turner wrong sport lol) would be a good combo.

          (I guess they have Evan Turner now so can act like i meant to do that lol. )

          Young could use some space off-ball

          • RootedInOakland

            I get what ur sayin but I doubt they wanna add a guy like CP3 who could potentially stifle Trae’s development who clearly needs the ball a lot. Think they’re confident in a core of Collins, Huerter, Hunter and Reddish to provide the spacing Trae needs

            • jkoms57

              I like what ATL is doing.

              At some point you need a veteran to help put you over the top tho.

              CP3 is not as bad as his contract.

              Deal will be expired by the time it’s time to pay the kids

            • hiflew

              I don’t know if I would call it stifling his development. He would be learning from one of the best PGs of his generation while playing beside him. CP3 for the next 3 years teaching Trae Young and preparing him to take over PG duties right before his prime. Plus, that hue salary coming off the books just in time for a Trae Young extension to kick in. It actually sounds like a fantastic idea.

              • jkoms57

                Thank you.

                It makes too much sense and they could even land a pick from the Thunder.

                ATL w CP3 > ATL w/o CP3

        • KnicksFanCavsFan

          I like how you played along there. I was like “why are they bringing up the Nats?”.

  2. OKC has been on a roll in acquiring picks, but they’ll eventually realize that, in the case of CP3, it’s the other team that’s holding the cards. I believe in CP3’s ability to move past last season, and I think there will be some teams interested in the gamble that he can. But not a 124 mm gamble, without other incoming assets (or outgoing liabilities) to mitigate the risk. Until OKC realizes they are not going to “net” assets from a CP3 trade, it’s hard to see it happening.

  3. Skip, Tampa

    If Presti thinks 2 picks are expensive, wait till Paul gets ticked off and goes public. Then it’ll cost him 3 picks.
    Waiters, JJ, Olynik $80M, Heat get 2021, 2013 1st back. Presti saves $44M, gets 2 pick swaps, moves Paul, can trade all 3 players at the deadline for player(s)/picks.
    Robinson, Patterson get a buyout with 3 year stretch at $5M each. No Tax and $39M saved.
    Whole point of this exercise was to honor Westbrook and where he wanted to go. Done, with class to boot. Everything else is just fluff and window dressing.
    Still a great win/win for Presti.
    Personally, don’t want to see Paul on the Heat at all. Even so, guess business is business.

    • Rewane

      Thunder is rebiulding.
      Rebiulding teams acquire bad contracts to get assets. They don’t send out assets for bad contracts.
      If Paul becomes a problem, Thunder can just ask him to take a leave for the rest of the contract like JR did.

      • KnicksFanCavsFan

        @Rewane I agree. Thunder aren’t in a rush to move Paul. I think we care about the price tag a bit more than the GMs. Paul does 2 things exceptionally well. He distributes the ball at a high level (8 apg ranked 3rd) and he is a great on ball defender (averaged 2+ assists per game, ranked 3rd too). Once the season starts there will open up a whole litany of possibilities. A player on a contending team can get injured for a significant time. Recently signed FA can be included in trades some time in December. As long as Presti is willing to wait and Paul isn’t putting a gun to his head then they have time and shouldn’t fee like Miami is the only or best option as a trade partner.

        The same way I said OKC would get at least two 1st rounders for Westbrook I’m calling my shot that if they trade Paul they WON’T be giving up any 1st rounders and will likely get a 1st or 2nd back.

        • x%sure

          Bold! But I agree Paul will stay with OKC for a while, and with positive effect.

          Maybe longer. With rookie assets coming in, there will– IS– room on the roster for an expensive piece with leadership qualities. And he can play the 1 or 2. He might stay until he’s an expiring.

          • x%sure

            Actually I think Paul will cut a cheap buyout to get into the playoffs first, before being traded, if OKC is not headed there, which in the WC is quite possible.

            I’ll say, one year at OKC, then a 2/3 cut on what’s remaning and leave.

            Of course on principle he will not offer a 4th-year opt-out. Miami is right to say talks start with those two firsts but Presti will prefer to keep them.

  4. agentx

    Probably better for Presti to wait until September or perhaps even December 15 to see if he can lure the Knicks or some other team into a Paul trade.

    If MIA is a no-go, would it make sense for OKC and MIN to build something around Paul and Schroeder going to the T-Wolves and Wiggins, Teague, and probably at least one other asset coming back to the Thunder?

      • agentx

        It was my understanding that Atlanta is committed to Trae Young at the point long term. Wouldn’t a Paul acquisition disrupt that plan?

        • jkoms57

          They don’t have a guard next to him.

          Nothing wrong with 2 combo guards. Works in Portland.

        • hiflew

          Trae Young learning from the best PG of the prior generation? Seems like a fit to me. Everyone is just in such a rush for these guys to take over. Young apprenticing next to Paul for a couple of years would help him IMMENSELY. Then if it is working, you keep going at the third year. If it is not working, you have an almost $50 million expiring contract that you can trade. Which would be a VERY valuable asset.

      • With Trae? Not really.
        The only sense is bad contracts…


        – wiggins + dieng
        – Batum + biyombo
        – JOHN WALL!

            • jkoms57

              They should tho.

              They’re gonna need more than 2 decent players and a bunch of rookies to win a playoff series

              • Theone23

                I don’t think they’re trying to win playoff series this year. Of they do, great, but I’m sure their focus continue to be on player and roster development, with an eye on contending in the near future.

                • jkoms57

                  Ya but they got their group.

                  Young, Collins Hunter

                  They’re not gonna finish low enough with that group

  5. Paul & Adams to MIA

    Olynk, Johnson, Waiters, Dragic, Adebayo to OKC

    Schroeder or Dragic & Waiters, Olynk or Roberson to MIN for Wiggins.

    Mia lineup:
    Paul, Harro, Butler, Winslow and Adams

    Min gets out of Wiggins contract with some serviceable players and $ to spend next year.

    OKC lineup:
    Gilegeous-Alexander, Ferguson, Wiggins, Gallinari and Adebayo

      • jkoms57

        Was gonna say the same thing..

        Bam might be best player on the team.

        Adams is worthless , bet they’re stuck with him.

        • jkoms57

          This is going to come down to Thunder getting nothing but salary relief,
          While Heat land an asset for taking on CP3 deal.

          Seems no one else is interested unless there’s a similar bad contract out there on a dark horse

          • Theone23

            I think the rebuilding Thunder would rather hang on to CP and his massive contract rather than give up assets to trade him. Would be very un Sam Presti like to do so.

        • IslandFlava

          Adams is a good center… Bam not so much, I’d rather say Adebayo is the one that sucks.

          • ColossusOfClout

            Adams is a one dimensional piece of furniture that they paid way too much for and doesn’t match anything in the house

  6. goldenmisfit

    So let me see if I got this right, Miami wants the thunder to give them Chris Paul and they want their first round picks back not to mention they want Chris Paul to decline over two years in advance he’s $44.7 million option? As someone who has been in Miami and I love that city I did not know there were that many people under the influence of drugs especially at that level of corporate America. Obviously Chris Paul has proven money is his driving factor otherwise he would’ve wanted a buyout so he can go to a contender with that being said no way in hell does he decline that option in advance there is no way because by the time that option rolls around he’s going to be around 37 no way he’s getting $44 million a year at that point I think that will be the biggest snag in these negotiations because Chris Paul will not do it.

  7. hoosierhysteria

    Presti needs to be patient. Some playoff team will have a PG blow out his knee and they will be desperate for help…..ring….ring! While thunder rebuild…give CP3 a hammer and tell him to get to work. He deserves to be in oil-Beria. Buy him some boots and a new lid….he will love it. He needs a membership to Jenny Craig too.

  8. Grant

    What about this trade:
    Pistons send Reggie, Galloway, and Snell for Paul, Nader, Diallo and a 1st rd pick. Pistons get a upgrade at PG and can try and make a deeper playoff push plus a couple prospects to develop on the wing and the Thunder get out from under Paul’s contract at the cost of some very expendable assets and taking on Snells 2 years.

  9. Danthemilwfan

    Who wants Chris Paul? I mean good player but 40 mil a year for an aging injury prone pg? ‍♂️

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