Chris Paul Expected to Start Season With Thunder After Trade Talks Stall

Chris Paul will now likely start next season playing for the Oklahoma City Thunder

Chris Paul will now likely start next season playing for the Oklahoma City Thunder

According to a Wednesday report from ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, however, it now appears as though the Oklahoma City Thunder are expected to begin the 2019-20 regular season with Paul still on their roster. Both sides believe there are benefits to Paul playing out the year with the Thunder.

The Thunder's brain trust and Paul's camp were reportedly working on trade possibilities, but after little movement on that front, both sides apparently view Paul playing in Oklahoma City this season as mutually beneficial.

The Thunder believe they might find more success when the trade landscape changes after December 15, according to the report.

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The Miami Heat were regarded as a possible landing spot for Paul before the trade was hung up on the discussion of picks that would go to the Heat along with the veteran. Matching the 34-year-old's salary for cap purposes is further complicated by the fact that players who signed new contracts this summer - a substantial portion of the league - can't be traded until December 15. OKC acquired Gilgeous-Alexander from the Los Angeles Clippers in the Paul George trade.

At the moment, though, it seems that the Heat are standing pat with the roster they have.

A 34-year-old All-Star scheduled to make $38.5 million next season does not fit in with those rebuilding plans. That is, if it wasn't for his exorbitant contract. That's a staggering sum to add to your books for any player, let alone one who is nearing the end of his career and has dealt with injury problems the last few seasons. The Thunder don't have a Western Conference championship contender, but they do have a core with Paul, Danilo Gallinari, Steven Adams, Dennis Schroder and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander that will not be participating in the NBA's annual race to the bottom.

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