The Oklahoma City Thunder’s offseason suddenly turned into chaos when Paul George demanded a trade to team up with Kawhi Leonard on the Los Angeles Clippers. Shortly after losing George, the Thunder also ended up moving the face of the franchise Russell Westbrook. In a blockbuster deal with the Houston Rockets, the Thunder managed to acquire Chris Paul in return, but the veteran guard isn’t expected to stay long in Oklahoma City.
The Thunder may currently be not aggressive in finding a trade partner for Chris Paul as according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the nine-time NBA All-Star is expected to start the season with the team. However, with the Thunder planning to undergo a rebuilding process, most people believe that Paul’s departure from Oklahoma City is inevitable. As of now, one of the NBA teams who’s emerging as the favorite landing spot for the veteran point guard is the Miami Heat.
The Heat improved their chances of making a huge impact in the Eastern Conference with the acquisition of Jimmy Butler in the 2019 NBA free agency. However, with their goal to stand at the top of the Eastern Conference and contend for the NBA championship title, the Heat will be needing additional star power on their roster. Chris Paul no may longer be in his prime, but he remains as one of the elite point guards in the league.
Last season, the 34-year-old point guard averaged 15.6 points, 8.2 assists, and 2.0 steals while shooting 41.9 percent from the field and 35.8 percent from beyond the arc. According to Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report, the Chris Paul-to-Miami trade could be made possible if the Heat and the Thunder “meet in the middle” and lower their demands in the potential deal.
— SLAM! Sports (@SlamSports) July 18, 2019
In the proposed trade deal by Bleacher Report, the Heat will be sending Goran Dragic, James Johnson, and Meyers Leonard to the Thunder in exchange for Chris Paul and a future first-round pick. The Heat and the Thunder will be needing to wait until September to make the deal so that Leonard will be eligible to be traded with other players. If the trade becomes a reality, it will help both teams in filling up the needs to improve on their roster.
The deal will allow the Heat to acquire another superstar who could play alongside Jimmy Butler while receiving a future first-round pick as compensation for absorbing Chris Paul’s lucrative contract. Meanwhile, the trade will enable the Thunder to get Paul’s contract off their books. The Thunder could potentially recover the first-round pick that will be going to Miami by trading Goran Dragic’s expiring deal before the next year’s February NBA trade deadline.