The Miami Heat put themselves in win-now mode with the successful acquisition of All-Star forward Jimmy Butler in the 2019 NBA free agency period. However, with the emergence of numerous powerhouse teams in the league, the Heat must be aware that Butler alone won’t be enough to help them achieve their main goal in the 2019-20 NBA season. In order to have a better chance of fully dominating the Eastern Conference and winning the NBA championship title, the Heat should prioritize pairing Butler with at least one legitimate NBA superstar before the 2020 February NBA trade deadline.
Since the 2019 NBA offseason started, the Heat have already been linked to several NBA superstars, including Chris Paul of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Paul may be able to fill the hole Russell Westbrook left in Oklahoma City, but with the Thunder heading into an inevitable rebuild, he’s clearly an odd fit on their roster. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, as quoted by Yahoo Sports, the Heat have a “level of interest” in acquiring Paul from the Thunder, but they first want to see how the veteran point guard will perform in the 2019-20 NBA season.
“The Heat have a level of interest in Oklahoma City’s Chris Paul entering the NBA season, league sources said…. Miami will likely elect to see how it starts the season before gauging a new pursuit of Paul, which would take several large contracts to match salary.”
At the age of 34, Paul’s performance took a hit in the 2018-19 NBA season, where he 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 percent from beyond the arc. However, there is still a chance for Paul to recapture his old form, especially now that he is no longer playing under the shadow of James Harden.
The Heat have reportedly expressed their desire to pair Chris Paul with Jimmy Butler from the time the Houston Rockets traded him to the Thunder. The Heat currently have some expiring contracts that can match Paul’s lucrative deal, but the Thunder don’t seem to be interested in moving the veteran point guard just for the sake of clearing salary cap space. In the potential deal involving Paul, the Thunder are reportedly demanding a future first-round pick, which the Heat are reluctant to give up.
Aside from the Heat, another NBA team who could express interest in trading for Paul before the 2020 February NBA trade deadline is the Minnesota Timberwolves. According to the previous The Inquisitr article, the Timberwolves could offer a trade package including Andrew Wiggins, Jeff Teague, Gorgui Dieng, and a 2020 first-round pick to the Thunder in exchange for Paul and Danilo Gallinari.