Shortly after the Thunder traded Russell Westbrook for Chris Paul, reports across the league stated OKC was actively shopping the nine time all-star. Now, it looks like OKC could end up keeping Paul.
ESPN reports that trade talks for Paul have stalled due to it being so late in free agency and Paul owning a massive contract. The deal has three years and 124 million left on it. The report adds that both sides see benefits to playing in OKC.
Thunder GM Sam Presti reportedly welcomes the idea of playing the 34 year old guard. Paul reportedly has warmed to the idea of playing in OKC. Paul began his career in Oklahoma City after the New Orleans Hornets relocated to Oklahoma part time for two seasons. Paul played for the Hornets both of those years.
Presti said after acquiring Paul, “Getting a player of Chris’ caliber gives us another experienced playmaker and leader...We welcome Chris back to Oklahoma City where as a member of the Hornets he helped to pave the way for the Thunder’s arrival in OKC.”
It could be easier for OKC to trade Paul come December 15th. That's when teams can throw off-season free agent deals in for trades. There's no guarantee Paul plays all season or even half the year with the Thunder.
ESPN adds that trade talks could resume after the 2019-2020 season. The hope for now is that the Thunder will be competitive in the fall.