Oklahoma City officials believe they’re giving up a valuable asset in the nine-time All-Star, while Miami sees the trade as a favor to the Thunder and thinks it should be compensated for taking on Paul’s hefty contract. The 34-year-old will make $38.5MM this season and $41.4MM next year, with a $44.2MM player option for 2021/22.
What Miami would like most is the return of its first-round picks for 2021 and 2023, which both belong to OKC. The Thunder have been reluctant to include them in prior trade talks.
Shams Charania of The Athletic reported Monday that the Heat still have some interest in acquiring Paul, who played the past two years in Houston. Charania added that Miami will wait to see how the early part of the season turns out before deciding whether to resume negotiations.
Although he remains a productive player, injuries and age have slowed Paul, who has been limited to 58 games in each of the past two years. He averaged 15.6 points, 4.6 rebounds and 8.2 assists last season, then posted a 17.0/6.4/5.5 line in the playoffs.