NBA Rumors: Bucks Could Send Five Players And Draft Pick To OKC Thunder For Chris Paul, Per ‘Bleacher Report’

Chris Paul #3 of the Oklahoma City Thunder in action against the Golden State Warriors at Chase Center on November 25, 2019 in San Francisco, California.
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Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Chris Paul is expected to be one of the most coveted players on the trade market in the 2020 NBA offseason. Paul may be on the downside of his NBA career, but he has proved in the 2019-20 season that he is still capable of playing at a high level. One team that could express a strong interest in acquiring Paul from the Thunder this fall is the Milwaukee Bucks.

In his recent article, Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report created a list of NBA trade ideas to create the league’s next “Big Three” in the 2020 NBA offseason. For the Bucks, Buckley suggested that they could build their own lethal trio by pairing Paul with Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton. In the proposed trade scenario, the Bucks would be sending a trade package that includes Eric Bledsoe, George Hill, Ersan Ilyasova, Robin Lopez, Donte DiVincenzo, and a 2021 second-round pick to the Thunder in exchange for Paul.

The deal works on ESPN’s NBA Trade Machine. Though they would need to give up several players in the potential deal, trading for Paul makes a lot of sense for the Bucks, especially if they fail to capture the Larry O’Brien Trophy in the 2019-20 season. Paul may no longer be in his prime, but Buckley believes that he could turn the Bucks into a more competitive team in the Eastern Conference next year.

“If Milwaukee falls short of a title, it might have to rock the boat. Based on previous playoff flops, the primary culprit might be half-court offense that doesn’t involve Antetokounmpo or Khris Middleton. This attack needs another initiator to find his own shots and create them for his teammates. It needs the Point God, who might welcome a relocation to the Badger State. Paul is (wildly) overpaid, but the 35-year-old remains a top-tier floor general. He sits seventh overall and third at the position in ESPN’s real plus-minus. He’s one of only three players averaging at least 17.0 points and 6.0 assists and fewer than 2.5 turnovers per game.”

Eric Bledsoe #6 of the Milwaukee Bucks drives to the basket against Chris Paul #3 of the Houston Rockets during the first half of a game at Fiserv Forum on March 26, 2019 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
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Though he’s five years older, Paul would undeniably be an upgrade over Bledsoe at the Bucks’ starting point guard position. Unlike Bledsoe who tends to choke in the postseason, Paul is very familiar in the playoff environment and has shown on multiple occasions that he could go up against the best point guards in the league. Having the “Point God” on their roster could maximize the effectiveness of Antetokounmpo and Middleton on the court, which could further improve the Bucks’ offensive efficiency that currently ranks No. 3 in the league, scoring 110.7 points per 100 possessions, per ESPN.

Meanwhile, the potential deal would also be beneficial for the Thunder. Aside from getting rid of Paul and his massive contract, the Thunder would be acquiring a young and promising talent in DiVincenzo and a future draft pick. To obtain more assets that could help them speed up the rebuilding process, the Thunder could try moving Bledsoe, Ilyasova, Lopez, and Hill to title contenders that need to boost their depth in the 2020 NBA offseason.