Despite reports that the Oklahoma City Thunder are looking to move recently-acquired point guard Chris Paul, it now appears he will still be on the roster at the beginning of the regular season, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
Per Woj, discussions surrounding trading Paul "are parked" and there is an "increasing expectation" that the 34-year-old point guard will start next season in Oklahoma City.
Story filed to ESPN: Oklahoma City's discussions to move nine-time All-Star guard Chris Paul onto a new destination are parked and an increasing expectation exists that he will start the season with the Thunder.- Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 17, 2019
Paul, who landed in OKC in the trade that sent Russell Westbrook to Houston was widely expected to be moved to another team as the Thunder embrace their rebuild around young point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who was acquired in the trade that sent Paul George to the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Thunder have been working with Paul's camp to find a suitable trade destination for the nine-time All-Star, however "nothing has materialised" thus far, Wojnarowski added.
OKC has been working with Paul and his representatives on finding a trade, but nothing is materializing so deep into summer free agency, sources said. Both sides believe there are benefits to Paul, 34, playing out the year with the Thunder. https://t.co/LjHCdLPZVg- Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 17, 2019
Moving Paul will take some maneuvering, with $124.1 million remaining on the final three years of his contract. However, the market for Paul will likely increase after December 15, the date free agents signed this off-season can be traded.
At this point in Paul's career, moving to a contending team is the most desirable option, but as ESPN's Brian Windhorst noted on The Rich Eisen Show this week, the Thunder are remaining patient to find a suitable deal for both parties, adding that the Thunder may have to attach draft picks to move his large contract.
Where did the #Westbrook / #CP3 trade come from? And will #ChrisPaul be on the move again?@WindhorstESPN dropped knowledge: pic.twitter.com/9b5EkXr2cv- Rich Eisen Show (@RichEisenShow) July 15, 2019
Paul appeared in 58 regular-season games for the Houston Rockets last season, averaging a career-low in scoring with 15.6 points per game on 41 percent shooting from the field and 35.8 percent from three, adding 8.2 assists, 4.6 rebounds and two steals.