After being dealt away from the Houston Rockets to the Oklahoma City Thunder earlier this month, Chris Paul appeared to be on the way to the Miami Heat alongside Jimmy Butler to create another NBA power couple.
However, according to EPSN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, trade talks between the Thunder and Heat have stalled, and it is now expected that the nine-time All-Star guard will start the season in Oklahoma City.
Paul’s current deal calls for him to be paid $124 million over the next three years, an albatross of a contract that few teams will want to take on.
It sounded as if Miami was one of those few, but the teams were not able to agree to terms on a deal.
For now, OKC’s brass is content with keeping Paul on the roster.
“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,” Wojnarowski writes. “It promises to be a competitive environment for Paul to play the season.”
If Paul does end up staying in OKC, it’s possible the Heat could make a run at another star to pair alongside Butler in South Beach. One possibility is Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards.
Beal, 26, is under contract through 2020-21 and the Heat have “strong interest” in bringing him to Miami.
However, at this point, the Wizards have shown little interest in dealing away their best player.
“It’s never crossed our mind,” Washington interim president of basketball operations Tommy Sheppard told The Athletic’s Ben Standig. “Bradley is somebody we’re building around.”
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