The Oklahoma City Thunder might have added Chris Paul in the blockbuster Russell Westbrook trade on Thursday, but he’s not going to be in OKC for too long.
Oklahoma City is already looking to move Paul with a number of potential suitors, including the Miami Heat.
It’s in this that we look at the four most likely Chris Paul trade scenarios.
Paul has been linked to the Heat since being traded from Houston on Thursday. It makes sense. Miami was in play for Russell Westbrook and wants to find an upgrade at point guard next to the recently acquired Jimmy Butler.
Contracts would also match up big time in this scenario with Miami adding a starting center in Steven Adams to replace Hassan Whiteside. In return, Oklahoma City adds a core piece in Winslow as well as yet another first-round pick.
Chris Paul to the Magic for Aaron Gordon, Markelle Fultz and D.J. Augustin
At just 23 years old, Gordon could be a core piece in Oklahoma City with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. That’s the equivalent of receiving multiple first-round picks. The forward averaged 16.0 points and 7.4 rebounds last season. Meanwhile, taking a chance on Fultz as they start anew with a rebuild would not be a bad thing for the Thunder.
As for the Magic, they are looking to contend right now after making a surprise trip to the playoffs last season. Teaming Paul up with Nikola Vucevic would form a potent one-two punch. That’s for sure.
Chris Paul to the Mavericks for Tim Hardaway Jr., Courtney Lee, Justin Jackson and first-round pick
It’s not a secret that owner Mark Cuban and the Mavericks are looking for a point guard to team up with Kristaps Porzingis and Luka Doncic. They might have added a solid one in Delon Wright, but he’s more of a combo guard. Paul would come in and be able to run the offense immediately.
In this scenario, Dallas sends the expiring contracts of Hardaway Jr. and Lee. As a way to entice Oklahoma City, the Mavs add a first-round pick and a young wing in Justin Jackson. It’s a win-win for both sides.
Chris Paul to the Chicago Bulls for Otto Porter Jr., Kris Dunn and a first-round pick
Is Chicago potentially set to contend for a playoff spot this coming season? We certainly wouldn’t put it past the talented young team. Zach LaVine, Lauri Markkanen, Wendell Carter Jr. and Coby White represent a tremendous core. If the Bulls were able to add Paul to the mix, they’d have to be seen as a playoff team.
This trade includes Oklahoma City netting what could potentially be a gold mine of an unprotected first-round pick from Chicago. Porter Jr. and Dunn are simply to make the salaries work.
— YARD BARKER