Windhorst: Thunder Not in a Hurry to Make Chris Paul Trade After Westbrook Deal

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJuly 15, 2019

Houston Rockets guard Chris Paul (3) celebrates with his bench in the second half during an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz Saturday, April 20, 2019, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Rick Bowmer/Associated Press

While the Oklahoma City Thunder are expected to trade Chris Paul, a move might not come quickly.

Brian Windhorst of ESPN explained the situation Monday on the Rich Eisen Show:

"In talking to some of the parties, I don't think the Thunder are in any hurry to trade him," Windhorst said. "It's a difficult complex trade."

He also referenced the Kyrie Irving and Dwight Howard trades that lasted until August despite plenty of expectations that both would be dealt for weeks.

Paul has been an effective player on the court, even as his production decreases from his prime when he was a nine-time All-Star. Last season he averaged 15.6 points and 2.0 steals per game while ranking third in the NBA with 8.2 assists per game.

Any contending team would certainly benefit from what the veteran brings on both ends of the court.

However, one holdup is the guard's contract, as he is owed at least $38 million in each of the next three years. The Houston Rockets traded him to help create space for Russell Westbrook, but the Thunder will have little use for this contract as they begin a rebuild.

The money owed to him could make it difficult to find a trade partner during the offseason.

"If you go out there and survey teams," Windhorst explained, "some teams would say, 'The only way I'm taking this Chris Paul contract...is if you give me draft picks.'"

Oklahoma City certainly has picks to spare after dealing Westbrook and Paul George, but the team will apparently be patient in finding the best possible trade for the veteran point guard.

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