The Oklahoma City Thunder are reportedly making several of their veteran players, including guard Chris Paul, forward Danilo Gallinari and center Steven Adams, "available" ahead of the 2020 NBA trade deadline in February.
Kevin O'Connor of The Ringer reported Tuesday that OKC's modest 11-12 record, which currently ranks seventh in the Western Conference, hasn't altered the front office's focus on the future and it's willing to take on "big salaries" in order to improve the return assets as part of dealing its vets.
He's one of the league's most decorated point guards with a resume that features nine All-Star appearances, four All-NBA First Team selections and seven NBA All-Defensive First Team honors.
Paul has averaged 16 points, 5.9 assists and 4.1 rebounds across 23 appearances for OKC. The assist total is on pace to set a career-low as he's split ball-handling duties with Dennis Schroder, but he's one of the NBA's top distributors with a career average of 9.6 assists.
The 34-year-old Wake Forest product told Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated last week he was "shocked" by his trade to the Thunder, and he's unsure what will happen next.
"I try to control what I can control," Paul said. "And for me, that is preparing to play every night. Doing my workout. Doing my training. Hooping."
His on-court ability would provide a boost to just about any contender, but his fiery, ultra-competitive attitude might not be the best fit for every title hopeful team.
Gallinari could generate interest from the Portland Trail Blazers, who are seeking frontcourt and wing depth alongside the star backcourt tandem of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum following a series of injuries, per O'Connor.
The 31-year-old Italian has transitioned from small forward to the role of stretch 4 since joining the Thunder in the July trade that allowed Paul George to join Kawhi Leonard with the Los Angeles Clippers. He's excelled, averaging 18.3 points while shooting 40.3 percent on threes in 22 games.
Adams has quietly put together a terrific career in Oklahoma City. He doesn't need to touch the ball consistently on offense (9.7 career PPG) to make an impact as he's once again illustrated this season by averaging 9.3 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.3 blocks while shooting 61.7 percent from the field.
It will probably fly under the radar if he's dealt at the deadline, especially if the Thunder also move Paul and Gallinari, but he could make the biggest impact of the trio in the right situation with a contender.
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