The Oklahoma City Thunder’s discussions to trade newly acquired point guard Chris Paul have stalled, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Wednesday, increasing the odds that he begins the season with the team.
The Thunder have been working with Paul’s agent on a suitable trade since acquiring him from the Houston Rockets last week in a deal for Russell Westbrook and two first-round picks, but Wojnarowski reports nothing is materializing. The report adds that Oklahoma City believes trade talks could improve after Dec. 15 — when players signed this offseason can be included in deals — or after the 2019-20 season.
The Miami Heat have been widely reported as a potential suitor for Paul, but the sides have been unable to agree on compensation.
The Miami Herald reports the Heat are only willing to take on Paul’s burdensome contract — which has three years and $124 million remaining, including a $44.2 million player option in 2021-22 — if they also receive their own 2021 and 2023 first-round picks, which the Thunder acquired via other trades. The Herald adds that the Heat were more interested in acquiring Westbrook than Paul, and could instead pursue Washington guard Bradley Beal.
A nine-time All-Star and four-time league assists leader, Paul averaged 15.6 points, 8.2 assists, 4.6 rebounds and 2.0 steals in 58 games last season in Houston.
He played his first two NBA seasons (2005-07) in Oklahoma City, when the New Orleans franchise was temporarily relocated after Hurricane Katrina.
The NBA active leader in assists (9,181) and steals (2,122) whose career totals rank seventh and ninth all-time, respectively, Paul was the NBA Rookie of the Year in the 2005-06 season.
–Field Level Media