From the moment the trade occurred that sent Russell Westbrook to the Houston Rockets, the expectation was that the main player the Oklahoma City Thunder acquired, Chris Paul, would be on the way out.
Paul has three years and $124 million left on his current contract.
The market expands on December 15, when players who signed offseason free-agent deals can become eligible to be included in trade packages.
In a story indicating the Thunder's inability to find attractive trade offers for Paul and willingness to play out the 2019-20 season with him on the roster, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski noted that general manager Sam Presti doesn't want to surrender draft picks to unload the future Hall of Famer. 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.
When the Oklahoma City Thunder acquired Chris Paul this offseason, the consensus around the National Basketball Association was that he'd be shipped to another team. While he's hardly a building block given his advanced age and recent regression, Paul sticking around in OKC for a year might not be the worst thing in the world.
A nine-time All-Star and four-time league assists leader, Paul averaged 15.6 points, 8.2 assists, 4.6 rebounds and 2.0 steals in 58 games last season in Houston. There's also the "what if" of epic proportions: What if David Stern allowed the Hornets to trade Paul to the Lakers in 2011, which would have made him teammates with Kobe Bryant?
"Y'all traded Paul George but kept Raymond Felton".