Chris Paul Rumors: Trade Talks Stall, PG Expected to Start Season with Thunder

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJuly 17, 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

Although the Oklahoma City Thunder have been trying to trade the recently acquired Chris Paul, discussions are currently "parked," according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. 

There is reportedly an "increasing expectation exists that he will start the season with the Thunder."

Per Wojnarowski, "nothing is materializing so deep into summer free agency" and both sides could accept the point guard playing the season with Oklahoma City.

Paul was sent to Oklahoma City in a deal that brought Russell Westbrook to the Houston Rockets, although there was wide speculation he would be flipped in another deal.

After losing Westbrook and Paul George from a team that lost in the first round, the Thunder are not expected to be a contender in 2019-20 and have little use for a 34-year-old who is owed over $120 million over the next three years.

ESPN's Brian Windhorst said on The Rich Eisen Show Monday the Thunder were trying to make a trade, but they were going to remain patient to find the right deal. He also noted they might have to give up draft picks in order to convince a team to take on the contract.

Of course, the contract remains complicated even if you find a team willing to take on the salary.

Any interested team would have to match salaries in a potential deal, which is even tougher considering players who just signed contracts can't be moved until Dec. 15. Few teams have enough players under team control to complete a trade, whether they want to or not.

Wojnarowski reported the Thunder could restart trade talks after that mid-December deadline when more players could be available in trades.

Until then, Paul could spend the first few months of the season with the Thunder instead of possibly helping a contender win a championship.

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