After being traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder, Chris Paul still continues to be a part of various trade rumors in the 2019 NBA offseason. While he may be able to fill the hole left by Russell Westbrook in the Thunder’s backcourt, the veteran point guard is clearly an odd fit for their roster — especially since the team is heading into an inevitable rebuild. As Paul is now officially available on the trading block, there’s one NBA team emerging as his favorite landing spot – the Miami Heat.
Unfortunately, as of now, Paul remains a member of the Thunder. The Heat were reportedly demanding a future draft pick as compensation for absorbing CP3’s massive contract, but the Thunder have turned down that trade. According to Andy Bailey of Bleacher Report, playing the waiting game is a smart move for the Thunder. Paul may not be receiving significant interest on the trade market right now, but that is expected to change when the February NBA trade deadline draws closer.
If things don’t go as the Heat expect early in the 2019-20 NBA season, Bailey believes that the Thunder will be in a much stronger position. He thinks they may not only be able to unload Chris Paul’s lucrative deal to Miami without giving up a future draft pick, they may also acquire one of their young and promising players – Justise Winslow, the No. 10 overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft.
“If they come out of the gate looking mediocre—or even a tier below the real contenders—maybe team president Pat Riley would be more willing to surrender one of his younger players for Paul. Miami, with so much now invested in a 29-year-old Butler, could be feeling pressure to make some win-now moves. Goran Dragic and Justise Winslow work salary-wise. And though Winslow offers some intrigue as a 3/4 hybrid, he’s yet to post a league-average box plus/minus or true shooting percentage in his career. Paul, though he’s already 34, would make Miami better in the short term.”
Trading Justise Winslow for Chris Paul is undeniably a tough decision for the Heat, but it is something that they should consider if they want to have a better chance of contending for the NBA championship title in 2020. The arrival of Jimmy Butler will undeniably boost their performance on both ends of the floor, but with the emergence of numerous powerhouse teams in the Eastern Conference, the Heat must be aware that having only one superstar won’t be enough to put them at the top the league.
Although Chris Paul may already be on the downside of his NBA career, he would still be an incredible addition to the Heat. Paul would give them an All-Star caliber point guard who could be their second-best scoring option next to Butler. At 34, Paul can still post incredible numbers. Last season, the veteran point guard averaged 15.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, 8.2 assists, and 2.0 steals while shooting 41.9 percent from the field and 35.8 from beyond the arc.