Chris Paul Trade Rumors: Bucks-Thunder Deal Considered 'Highly Unlikely'

Jenna CiccotelliContributor ISeptember 16, 2020

Oklahoma City Thunder's Chris Paul (3) makes a pass during the first half of an NBA first-round playoff basketball game against the Houston Rockets in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

The Milwaukee Bucks are looking to improve their roster this offseason after an Eastern Conference semifinal exit, but Oklahoma City point guard Chris Paul is "highly unlikely" to be the solution, according to The Athletic's Eric Nehm and Sam Amick.

Paul, a 10-time All-Star, could complement league MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo on the court, but his price tag could put the Bucks off.

Per The Athletic

"As for the reported prospect of the Bucks pursuing Oklahoma City point guard Chris Paul as a possible solution to the roster deficiencies, sources with knowledge of ownership's thinking said it is highly unlikely. The cost of bringing him aboard—Paul is owed $41.3 million next season and has a player option worth $44.2 million in the 2021-22 campaign—and the potential difficulty of bringing Paul onto a roster already led by a strong personality in Antetokounmpo seems to limit the chances of the Bucks moving to pair the two All-Stars. All indications are that the Bucks would rather look elsewhere."

In his first year in Oklahoma City after being traded in July 2019, Paul averaged 17.6 points, 6.7 assists, five rebounds, and 1.6 steals per game before the Thunder were eliminated by the Houston Rockets in Round 1 of the NBA playoffs—the fourth consecutive season they have failed to advance beyond the first round. 

After Paul was acquired by Oklahoma City, the team reportedly explored options to send him elsewhere, and The Ringer's Ryen Russillo said last fall that Paul had expressed interest in playing in Milwaukee.

His natural tendency to take initiative on the court would complement Antetokounmpo's forward-thinking playing style, and his wealth of NBA experience would take the pressure off of the Greek Freak, provided their personalities didn't clash. 

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But with the price tag encouraging the Bucks to look elsewhere this offseason, other teams will make the jump at the 35-year-old Paul, who is also being pursued by the New York Knicks, per Jonathan Macri of Knicks Film School, in a deal that would reunite him with Knicks president Leon Rose, who negotiated his whopping contract that is steering the Bucks away.