It is not often right after you hear of a trade involving a top tier play such as Chris Paul that you would talk about where he will play. It would be expected he would play where he was traded to. But instead all eyes are on Chris Paul and the Thunder and what they do. Paul was traded to the Thunder in the early part of June. While some thought it was likely Chris Paul would stay in OKC, as soon as the deal was done reports of him being traded from OKC started. But what are the real possibilities for him to land? Right now it appears there only a few teams that can do such a trade.

Paul Stays With Oklahoma City Thunder

As of today the Thunder may have chose to keep CP3 in OKC. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN..

CP3 to stay in OKC?

This is not surprising as Paul is owed $124 million over the next three years of his contract.  This is probably why the suitors for CP3 are small. But what does OKC gain from keeping Paul? If they are going to fully rebuild, why keep him? They get some experience that they will need with Paul George and Westbrook leaving. A strong leader, but is that worth the money? It may be; the Thunder have a decent roster and could still contend for a playoff spot with CP3 at the helm.

With guys like Danilo Gallinari and Patrick Patterson who will both benefit from Paul’s ability to run and dish. This team could be a surprise. Then with a solid back up in Dennis Schroder and the big guy Steven Adams they can compete and play hard. Is Paul still elite enough to help this type team? Will it be enough to get a playoff spot in a conference that is loaded with title contenders? If so, Chris Paul is likely to stay in OKC. However, I don’t think so, and he wont last long in OKC either. If OKC decides to trade Paul before the trade deadline there are a few spots he may land.

The Miami Heat

Chris Paul likely To Stay In OKC

The Miami heat have a bit of a dilemma as the Thunder hold two of the Heats unprotected first round picks. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst stated, “The Thunder have expressed an interest in giving one of those picks back, but they would want another pick farther off into the future. So I do think those teams have a lot to talk about.” So now it is up to the main man Pat Riley to decide if a deal for Paul is what the Heat need.

Pairing CP3 with newly acquired Jimmy Butler would be interesting. The style of both would lend to a pair that could be cohesive. Butler down the wing with CP3 running could be explosive. The heat only have a few real point guards on the roster, Goran Dragic, Justise Winslow andTyler Herro The 13th pick in this years draft has shown his ability in the summer league.

Riley nixed any trades involving Herro over this summer he was so impressed. But it is no secret that the fans want to see Winslow take the point. Because of this, many do not want to see CP3 take those minutes away from what they believe is their future point in Winslow. To Heat fans this is his breakout year and CP3 could only slow that progression down. There is also the question, “can two alpha dogs such as Paul and Butler be on the same team?” Could one give into the other when needed as another famous pair did in Miami?

The Los Angeles Lakers

Chris Paul likely To Stay In OKC
LOS ANGELES, CA – NOVEMBER 29: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers celebrates his three. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

The second team that has shown some interest in CP3 is the Los Angeles Lakers. This one seems a bit more unlikely as some things would have to happen first. It would likely happen only if Paul would be bought out by the OKC then he could sign for the minimum in LA. As the Thunder have shown they do not like dead cap hits, they would rather make a trade. So buying Paul out does not seem to be the route. The only good that could come of Paul in LA would be the reunion of two close friends. And then the negatives, well.

To start, Paul and Rajon Rondo literally went to blows not too long ago, and CP3 and Cousins are not the best of pals either. The welcome mat might not be quite laid out for Paul in LA. If he did go there though, that could be real fun. Paul running show time with a cast of big stars to dish to. If they could all get on the same page with a common goal, wow what a team. We all know if James says he wants it, then it probably will go down.

Final Landing Spot

For now Chris Paul is likely to stay in OKC to start the year and they will see what they have. This should not take long into training camp before they know if this is the team they envisioned today. But there will be talk of Paul on the move from now until the trade deadline, that we know. Where he lands in the end is still something I don’t think Chris Paul or the Thunder know.

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Paul Casanova

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