NBA News: Paul to stay with Thunder at the start of the season

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Oklahoma City Thunder acquired the nine-time All-Star guard Chris Paul in a blockbuster trade, sending Russell Westbrook to the Houston Rockets following 11 seasons with the team.

At first, Paul wasn’t expected to play a single game for the Thunder and he was hoping to move to an NBA contender by the start of the next campaign. According to ESPN’s sources, though, CP3 will have to postpone his plans for now as there are no contenders with enough cap space or roster structure to make a move and get Paul.

With $124 million left on his contract, and with no team available to wrap him up, both Paul and the Thunder believe Chris should play out the season with the team. The trade is a possibility later in the season or at the end of the it. The market will expand on Dec. 15, when free-agents who signed their current deals this off-season are becoming eligible to be included in trades.

The Thunder general manager Sam Presti is content with the idea of Paul playing for OKC in this campaign while Paul is prepared to accept the situation and stay in Oklahoma for a season. Oklahoma City aren’t championship contenders, but they do have a respectable team with Paul, Steven Adams, Danilo Gallinari, Dennis Schroder, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. This squad looks good enough to fight for the playoff spot.

Chris Paul could be a great mentor to Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s and help in guard’s development. The backcourt of Paul, Gilgeous-Alexander, and Schroder is certainly above an average, but the OKC are weak at forward position. However, they are unwilling to give up on any of their future draft picks in potential Paul’s trade. The Thunder will have up to 15 first-round picks between 2020 and 2026.

Paul is familiar with Oklahoma City as he already played there during the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons when the New Orleans Hornets relocated because of Hurricane Katrina. Even though nobody can really replace Russell Westbrook who is the franchise’s best ever player, the fans will definitely love Chris Paul in his first and probably, only season with Oklahoma City.

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