The Oklahoma City Thunder have had no luck drumming up trade interest in Chris Paul since they acquired the veteran point guard as part of the Russell Westbrook deal, but at least one team is keeping close tabs on CP3 heading into next season.
The Miami Heat have interest in trading for Paul, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports. Paul and the Heat have mutual interest and Miami previously discussed a trade with the Thunder, but no deal was reached. Charania notes that the Heat will likely circle back after the start of the season if they still decide they want to pursue Paul.
It never made sense for the rebuilding Thunder to keep Paul, but they are reportedly doing everything they can to convince teams they are happy to keep him on the roster to mentor their young players. Few people are going to believe that after OKC traded both Westbrook and Paul George. Taking on Paul’s contract was simply the only way the Thunder could make the money work to send Westbrook to the Houston Rockets in exchange for draft picks.
Paul is still capable of playing at a high level, but he turned 34 in May and has battled injuries in recent seasons. There was talk that he was forced out of Houston for non-basketball reasons, though it was likely a combination of factors.
The Miami Heat have frequently been linked as a possibility to take Chris Paul’s contract off Oklahoma City’s hands, but new reporting indicates that possibility is remote.
According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, the Heat will do “due diligence” on Paul, but their interest is not strong and they would have to be “absolutely overwhelmed” to take on the remaining three years and $124 million on his contract. According to Jackson, the Heat would be enticed if the Thunder took on multiple bad contracts while also sending Miami multiple first-round picks. With Oklahoma City more interested in stockpiling draft picks, this possibility appears very unlikely.
The Heat have serious concerns about Paul’s age and ability to stay healthy, and are not interested in spending big sums of money on aging stars.
Indications are the Thunder want to unload Paul, and would like to pass him on to the Heat. With Miami not sounding very interested, that may not be an option at this point.
The Oklahoma City Thunder appear to have no intention of keeping Chris Paul after they acquired him in the deal that sent Russell Westbrook to Houston, and they would like to resolve the situation as quickly as possible.
Immediately after the Westbrook-Paul trade was completed on Thursday, reports indicated the Thunder actually tried to find a third team to take CP3 and still want to deal him. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said Friday that the Miami Heat are the most obvious suitor in what will be a limited trade market for Paul, and the Thunder are anxious to complete a deal.
“The market for Chris Paul is going to be small, but Miami’s at the top of that list,” Woj said. “They’d like to try to get that deal done as soon as they can. I was told there are some other teams, too, that are going to be discussed, but their hope in getting this deal done with Chris Paul was that he doesn’t play a game in a Thunder uniform.”
Paul has three years and $124 million remaining on his contract, and he is older than Westbrook and has been injured quite often over the past few seasons. It never made any sense for OKC to replace Westbrook with him, so they must have been confident they will find a new home for him when they made the trade with the Rockets. That new home will likely be in Miami alongside Jimmy Butler.
Paul could have one very interesting dilemma if he winds up with the Heat, but that’s not going to stand in the way of a deal.
Russell Westbrook may be on the move this summer, and he may have a team in mind that wants him, too.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Miami Heat have expressed interest in Westbrook, and a move to Miami “appeals” to the Oklahoma City point guard.
It’s become quite clear that the Thunder are willing to trade Westbrook in the right deal after Paul George forced his way out of the organization to play for the Los Angeles Clippers.
While Westbrook theoretically has no say in where he goes, it’s clear that the Thunder are also willing to listen to his opinions. The Heat, who have just added Jimmy Butler, would likely have to part with significant assets to make the salaries work. The challenge for them might be draft pick compensation considering they have very few picks remaining after trading them away.
Westbrook is a franchise player who could pair with Butler to make the team an instant contender in the Eastern Conference.
Plenty of people have gotten to work trying to recruit NBA players to teams this offseason, and Chad Johnson wants to belatedly get in on the act.
The longtime NFL wide receiver tweeted Monday that he wants to recruit Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook and Washington’s Bradley Beal to Miami as an “outside representative” for the Heat.
Johnson, a Miami native, wants to pull a Kawhi Leonard here. Both Westbrook and Beal are under contract, and while either could be theoretically traded, they’d have to do some work if they wanted to leverage some influence over where they go. Plus, Beal doesn’t appear to be on the market right now. Westbrook could be, and the Heat may be a bit ahead of Johnson’s game in that regard.
In other words, one is perhaps possible if it’s Westbrook, but two is bordering on impossible. You can’t blame Johnson for trying, anyway.
As the NBA turns its attention to the possibility of a Russell Westbrook trade this summer, one team is apparently at least keeping an open mind if he hits the market.
According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, the Miami Heat “absolutely like” Westbrook, but that is as far as things are going for now.
To be clear, it’s almost certainly too soon for teams to be lining up for Westbrook. The Oklahoma City Thunder haven’t even committed to trading him yet, though it’s certainly a topic of discussion. The Thunder will likely have to decide how serious they are about putting Westbrook on the market, and once they make that decision, they’ll gauge the market. Miami, a team that has already added Jimmy Butler this summer, will apparently keep an eye on those developments.
The Miami Heat have managed to complete their acquisition of guard Jimmy Butler.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe of ESPN, the Heat included the Los Angeles Clippers and Portland Trail Blazers in the final deal. The Clippers will land Moe Harkless, whom the Heat acquired earlier Monday, as well as a future first-round pick.
The Heat had to clear salary to acquire Butler in the sign-and-trade deal with the Philadelphia 76ers. A deal with the Dallas Mavericks fell apart Sunday night, which led to this somewhat convoluted four-team deal that gets the job done.
Here’s a recap of what everyone gets:
Philadelphia 76ers: Josh Richardson, the salary cap space to add Al Horford
Miami Heat: Jimmy Butler on a 4-year, $142 million deal, Meyers Leonard ($11.3 million, expiring)
LA Clippers: Moe Harkless ($11.5 million, expiring), protected 2023 first-round pick from Miami
Portland Trail Blazers: Hassan Whiteside ($27 million, expiring)
The Miami Heat are shipping Hassan Whiteside out of town.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Heat have agreed to trade Whiteside to the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for forwards Moe Harkless and Meyers Leonard.
Essentially, the Blazers have cover for Jusuf Nurkic without giving up any major pieces. Their goal is to remain among the biggest contenders in the Western Conference, and this deal helps them do so.
The Heat, on the other hand, are on a mission to clear salary to bring in Jimmy Butler on a sign-and-trade deal. While this helps, it won’t be enough on its own, and with other avenues seemingly closed to them, they’ll have to keep working on it.
The Miami Heat thought they had the trade they needed to make to allow them to sign Jimmy Butler, but the situation is now very much in limbo.
The Miami Heat appeared to believe Sunday night that they were sending guard Goran Dragic to the Dallas Mavericks to clear the necessary cap space to add Butler in a sign-and-trade with the Philadelphia 76ers. However, confusion over the players involved in the deal led to its collapse. According to Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News, it appears unlikely to be revived.
The Heat are placed in the difficult position of knowing that few teams have the cap space needed to absorb players, and they absolutely have to do something to finish the Butler deal. It no longer sounds like the Mavericks will be the solution to their issues.
The deal between the Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat that would have allowed Miami to absorb Jimmy Butler in a sign-and-trade with Philly has fallen apart.
Retracing things, Butler had agreed to sign a four-year, $142 million deal with Philly and get traded to Miami. However, the Heat doing a sign-and-trade would trigger the hard cap for the season and force them to shed salaries to make the trade work.
They were always going to deal Josh Richardson ($10.1 million) to Philly, but they had to unload other money to make the trade go through.
At first, reports out of Miami said Goran Dragic ($19.1 million) was being traded to Dallas. But then conflicting reports out of Dallas said Kelly Olynyk ($12.67 million) and Derrick Jones Jr. ($1.7 million) were included in the trade.
It’s unclear whether Dallas changed their minds on taking back Dragic, but it sounds like Miami did not want to deal Jones.
The Heat will need to make this trade work because they want Butler, but they need to find a way to shed salary. There are not many teams left with salary cap space to take on the Heat’s contracts, so their options are limited. Philly also needs the deal to go through because their plans — signing Al Horford — are contingent upon it.