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Friday, August 23, 2019

Articles tagged: Chris Paul

Report: Thunder trying to create impression they want to keep Chris Paul

Chris Paul Rockets

The Oklahoma City Thunder may have never intended to keep Chris Paul when they acquired him as part of the deal that sent Russell Westbrook to the Houston Rockets, but they are doing everything they can to convince rival teams that is not the way they view it.

Team executives have found that the Thunder are trying to create the impression that they want to keep Paul to help mentor their younger players, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said on “The Jump” this week. However, they are privately hoping something will change this offseason that will inspire a team to make an offer for the veteran point guard.

“Here’s what executives expect to happen: They expect the Thunder to put out a message that, ‘We’re not looking to trade Chris Paul. We want him here. We want him as part of our unit with our young guys,'” Windhorst said. “They don’t want anybody to think they’re panicked trying to trade him. They want to hope that somebody has something happen where they need Chris Paul.”

The Thunder have traded Westbrook and Paul George and entered a complete rebuilding phase, so no one is going to believe they want to keep Paul. Taking on his contract was the only way they were able to send Westbrook to Houston. There have been some indications that Paul will begin the season in OKC, but that won’t be due to a lack of effort to trade him.

While Paul is still capable of playing at a high level, he has battled injuries in recent years and turned 34 in May. The Thunder can only hope a contending team gets desperate at some point between now and next season’s trade deadline.

Chris Paul thanks Houston in farewell note on Instagram

Chris Paul Rockets

Chris Paul sent a farewell note to Houston on Instagram Wednesday in which he also shared his excitement about playing for his new team.

Paul was traded by the Rockets to the Oklahoma City Thunder on July 11. CP3 has kept quiet since then, but nearly two weeks later, he finally sent his farewell.

“So thankful to the city of Houston for all your generosity and kindness toward my family and me these past few years! I’m truly blessed to have amazing fans who continue to support me throughout my career. I’m excited to be joining @okcthunder next season and for this new opportunity to compete alongside my Thunder teammates. I started my NBA career playing in Oklahoma City with the New Orleans Hornets and I look forward to returning!” Paul wrote.

Paul joined the NBA in 2005 and spent his first two seasons in Oklahoma City because his Hornets were displaced by Hurricane Katrina. That is what will make this a return for him.

Paul probably took a few weeks before sharing this note on Instagram because his future was in question following the trade to Oklahoma City. The Thunder were looking to trade him, but a combination of Paul’s salary and the Thunder’s unwillingness to include draft assets in a trade resulted in him being retained for now.

James Harden denies rift with Chris Paul

James Harden

The James Harden and Chris Paul partnership may be over, but Harden still wanted to set the record straight about their relationship.

Harden said Saturday that talk was a “rift” and that he has “nothing negative to say” about Paul after he was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Despite Harden’s comments, it’s pretty clear he and Paul didn’t always completely see eye-to-eye. This had been pushed aside by Houston as normal behavior between two stars, but Harden probably doesn’t mind the fact that he’ll instead be playing alongside Russell Westbrook next season.

Report: Chris Paul likely to start season with Thunder

Chris Paul Rockets

Chris Paul’s contract will likely ensure that he starts the season with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said on Wednesday’s edition of The Jump that there is little momentum towards a trade right now, and Paul is likely to open the regular season with Oklahoma City.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski essentially said the same thing on Twitter, adding that both Paul and the Thunder believe a year together could prove beneficial.

Things have been trending this way for a while. As it stands, Paul’s remaining contract is not of interest to any teams, and the Thunder simply aren’t going to kick in a draft pick to get rid of him. It may not be anyone’s ideal scenario, but it’s simply the way things are going to be for a while.

Report: ‘No appetite’ among teams to take on final year of Chris Paul deal

Chris Paul Rockets

The Oklahoma City Thunder are having a very hard time finding anyone to take Chris Paul’s contract off their hands.

According to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders, based on conversations with NBA general manager, there is “almost no appetite” around the league to touch Paul’s contract, particularly the $44 million player option in 2021-22. Paul will be 37 years old by the time that deal expires.

The Thunder are running into the same problem the Houston Rockets had: Paul’s contract is nearly untradeable unless the pot is sweetened with extra picks. That runs counter to what Oklahoma City is trying to do, which is stockpile future first-round selections in order to strengthen their rebuild. Ultimately, they’re reportedly open to keeping the point guard, largely because, at this point, they may have no other choice.

Details of Chris Paul-James Harden playoff argument revealed

James harden

James Harden and Chris Paul clearly did not get along well last season with the Houston Rockets, and the issues may have come to a boil after they lost their playoff series to the Golden State Warriors this year. Numerous reports claimed the two superstars had an argument in the locker room after the Rockets were eliminated, but the bickering apparently started on the court.

In a recent episode of his “Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective” podcast, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst revealed some of what it was that Harden and Paul said to one another during that Golden State series. One exchange had to do with what Windhorst described as a “schematic thing” and an issue with spacing, and Harden wanted none of Paul shouting orders at him.

“Chris barked at James, and James turned to him — this was described to me by a player who was on the court — and he said, ‘With you it’s always f—ing something,'” Windhorst revealed.

As Windhorst noted, both Harden and Paul have had issues with teammates in the past. Still, that particular comment sure seems to indicate Harden had grown tired of playing with CP3, and that is likely why he helped nudge the Rockets in the direction of acquiring Russell Westbrook.

We’ve already heard of several reasons why Harden and Paul clashed, and it’s clear the issues were real even if the Rockets tried to downplay them. We highly doubt the two All-Stars will miss one another.

Report: Thunder open to keeping Chris Paul

Chris Paul Rockets

While Chris Paul has been frequently linked with a move away from Oklahoma City, there are also indications that the Thunder would be comfortable keeping the newly-acquired guard.

According to Ken Berger of Bleacher Report, the Thunder would have no problem keeping Paul on board if they can’t find a trade partner and Paul is willing to stay. While his deal is bloated with three years and $124 million remaining, that is still a year less than Russell Westbrook had left.

Paul’s willingness to stay remains somewhat of a question. The 34-year-old has never even played in the NBA Finals, and is running out oftime to find that elusive championship. The reality is that Paul just doesn’t have a ton of potential takers thanks to his contract unless Oklahoma City is willing to sweeten the pot by adding assets, and he may have to settle for playing on a non-contending Thunder team for at least one season.