Star point guard Chris Paul is coming off the heels of a resurgent campaign that has re-established himself as one of the game’s best guards. Paul‘s performance has also sparked up trade rumors after completing his first campaign with the Oklahoma City Thunder. The future Hall of Famer may have now provided some much-needed clarity on that front.
Chris Paul bounces back with the Thunder
In the months before the 2019-20 season, there were lingering questions concerning Chris Paul‘s ability to play at a high level.
Paul was coming off a campaign hampered by nagging injuries and some inconsistent play due to his health issues. The 35-year-old silenced all the outside doubt as he not only played at an elite level but helped guide the Thunder to a playoff berth.
His play earned him his 10th All-Star Game selection and his fourth All-NBA Second Team honors. Paul’s production also pushed forward constant dialogue around trade rumors that have since grown louder following the Thunder’s postseason exit. The star point may have recently brought some clarity to that front for Oklahoma City.
Chris Paul narrows down desired landing spots
Following a bounce-back campaign, the trade rumors around Chris Paul are beginning to heat up early in the offseason.
Paul’s name will be atop the list of players potentially on the move. With that in mind, Jonathan Macri of Knicks Film School recently reported that the star point guard might have let it be known that he desires to play in either LA or New York next season.
There has been some constant chatter that the LA Lakers could make a strong push to acquire Paul to pair alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis. LA may have the contracts to make it work financially but might not have the players or draft assets that would appease the Thunder.
What the reported rumor does is further suggest that Paul is open to playing elsewhere next season. He is entering the third year of his four-year, $159.7 million deal that will pay him $41.3 million this upcoming campaign and holds a player option worth $44.2 million for the 2021-22 season.
Paul has subtly hinted that he will likely pick up the player option for the final year of his massive deal. The rumor mill is only beginning to ramp up, which more trade chatter will lie ahead in the coming weeks.
Much will unfold over the offseason
What has become quite clear early in the offseason is that Chris Paul will be a hot trade commodity around the league.
The 35-year-old is still playing at an elite level and can be a significant contributor for a team hoping to contend for an NBA title. Depending on how things pan out with Giannis Antetokounmpo’s contract situation, the Milwaukee Bucks could be in play to acquire Paul.
The LA Lakers will remain in the picture as a potential landing spot as the franchise understands that there will be some stiffer competition next year in the Western Conference. The Golden State Warriors will certainly be back in the fold after going through an injury-plagued season. Meanwhile, teams such as the Denver Nuggets, LA Clippers, and Dallas Mavericks should all come back stronger.
All of that may come down to the Thunder assessing what team can offer them the best trade package assets. As the offseason progresses, Oklahoma City will better understand the trade market for their star point guard.