Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Rumor: Miami not aggressive in seeking trade for Chris Paul

Portland Trail Blazers v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game Three

OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA - APRIL 19: Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder reacts after a made basket against the Portland Trail Blazers during the second half of game three of the Western Conference quarterfinals at Chesapeake Energy Arena on April 19, 2019 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)

Getty Images

Miami and Oklahoma City are talking about a possible Chris Paul trade. For now, that’s all it is.

Other teams are kicking the tires a Paul deal (Minnesota has come up as a rumor, although CP3 is expensive and not exactly on Karl-Anthony Towns’ career timeline), but nothing much has emerged. For Miami and OKC it becomes about leverage, which brings us to a Tweet from Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.

This sounds a lot like the Heat wanting to look like a team willing to walk away from a deal to gain leverage, so they leak this to a team-friendly source.

The challenges in a Heat/Thunder trade are these: Oklahoma City remains $3.7 million into the luxury tax and, understandably, does not want to pay that for a rebuilding team. They want to take back less salary than they send out. Miami, however, is hard-capped at just more than $138 million after the Jimmy Butler sign-and-trade and they are bumping up against that number and cannot take on more salary in a trade. A third team may need to come into play.

Beyond that, Paul is not Russell Westbrook at this point in his career, CP3 showed signs of decline last season (although he is still the best floor general in the game and averaged 15.6 points and 8.2 assists per game). Houston had to throw picks at Oklahoma City to get the Westbrook trade made, but with Paul teams may ask for one or more of OKC’s picks to take on CP3’s salary (three years, $124 million).

Paul is going to get traded before the season, the Thunder and Paul’s agent are working together on this. Where and when are the questions, this is not a simple trade. Miami may still be the most likely destination, but both sides are clearly looking for a little leverage.