- OKC traded star player Russell Westbrook to the Houston Rockets
- Coming back the other way was Chris Paul to Oklahoma City
- Odds suggest Paul won’t play for the team this season
On Thursday, the NBA offseason continued its frenzied pace with yet another blockbuster trade involving two NBA superstars with very large contracts.
The Oklahoma City Thunder advanced their recent rebuilding effort by trading long-time team leader, Russell Westbrook and the $170 plus million remaining on his contract to the Houston Rockets. In return, the Rockets sent OKC 34-year-old Chris Paul, along with two future draft picks (2024 and 2026) and two pick swaps (2021 and 2025). Paul, with one less year than Westbrook on his contract, saves the Thunder $47 million.
Odds Chris Paul Will Be On the Thunder Roster Game 1 of NBA 2019-20 Season
|Result||Odds at BetOnline|
*Odds taken 7/12/219
This comes just days after the Thunder traded their other star, Paul George, to the Los Angeles Clippers for young point guard prospect Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, veteran Danilo Galinari and a whopping five first-round draft picks (2022, 2024, 2026 and the Miami Heat’s in 2021 and 2023) and two first-round pick swaps (2023 and 2025).
It is clear the Thunder are about to embark on a serious youth movement in the near future.
"I don't like it. The only thing I like about it is you got rid of Chris Paul in the deal. If you had Chris, Russ and James Harden, it would be even worse. … CP3 could shoot. Russ can't shoot. They're going to make the playoffs but this is not going to work." — @Chris_Broussard pic.twitter.com/dou2L9krD8
— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) July 12, 2019
Currently, the odds on Chis Paul still being on Oklahoma City’s roster for Game 1 of the 2019-20 regular season are +110. The odds that Paul will be elsewhere are -150.
All signs point to Paul not being with the Thunder at the start of next season and likely not much longer this summer.
While the Thunder were forced to take Paul off of the Rockets’ hands in order for Houston to make room for Westbrook, it is already clear that Oklahoma City was attempting to find a third team to do so and will work with Paul to find a better fit for his services.
Houston hoped to find third-team destination preferable to Chris Paul, but ultimately leaves it OKC to execute next step once Presti confers w/ CP3 agent Leon Rose. Miami remains possibility for Paul (3 years, $124M) — and OKC obviously has picks to incentivize deal, if needed.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 12, 2019
Some have argued that the Thunder may want to keep Paul in order to mentor their young players, such as Gilgeous-Alexander, and to play alongside fellow veterans Galinari and Steven Adams, but that seems far-fetched. Both Galinari and Adams have been frequent participants in NBA trade rumors.
It is most likely that Oklahoma City will find a way to shed the salaries of all their veterans and develop their young players, while making room to accommodate the obscene number of draft picks they have acquired this summer.
It is also unlikely that the mercurial Paul will have any appetite to waste any of his last years as a pro simply being a mentor on a team with no realistic shot at a championship.
Chris Paul can be traded immediately after the trade is finalized. The two-month restriction only applies if his salary is aggregated with another player on the Thunder. https://t.co/80DrWuJfgK
— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) July 12, 2019
Take the easy money at -150 that both the Thunder and Chris Paul achieve the desired result of Paul becoming a member of a different organization as fast as possible.
Pick: No (-150)
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