Nearly as soon as Chris Paul was traded from the Houston Rockets to the Oklahoma City Thunder earlier this month, there were rumors that the veteran point guard would soon be on the move again, per The Inquisitr. And the team most often mentioned in the trade rumors has been the Miami Heat.
The talks have not resulted in a trade, at least as of yet, with Slam Online reporting in mid-July that the Heat were “lukewarm” about the potential trade for Paul. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN went on to report last week that Paul was likely to begin the season with Oklahoma City, per The Inquisitr. Paul, per that report, is seen by the Thunder as a candidate to mentor their new point guard, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
Now, a new report is looking at the ways that Miami could reach such a deal for the 34-year-old Paul, who has over $100 million remaining on his contract.
According to The South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Miami has “taken a more reserved methodology” with Paul than they did when they were attempting to trade for Russell Westbrook earlier this month. And the report went on to cite ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, who said on a recent TV appearance that to take Paul’s contract, Miami would likely want to get back at least one of the two future first-round picks of theirs that are currently owned by Oklahoma City.
“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 teams have a lot to talk about,” Windhorst said, per the newspaper. The Thunder own the Heat’s first-round picks in 2021 and 2013, although the latter pick has protections on it. The Oklahoma City picks are part of the huge haul of future first-round picks obtained by the team through a series of recent trades.
— Heat Nation (@HeatNationCP) July 15, 2019
The Sun-Sentinel also listed several other factors in consideration. If they traded for Paul, his salary would likely take the Heat out of consideration for free agents in the 2021 offseason. And if the Heat traded for Paul, they would have to send out salaries of current players on the team — such as Goran Dragic or Dion Waiters — in order to remain under the salary cap.
In addition, Miami will have to determine whether they view Justise Winslow as a point guard, as trading for four years of Paul would likely not allow him to play that position for as long as Paul is on the team.