OKLAHOMA CITY — The rebuilding of the Oklahoma City Thunder in the wake of the trades of Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Jerami Grant is clearly on. However, tanking may be difficult.
That’s an easy takeaway from the news that broke Wednesday afternoon, when ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that all talks centered on moving Chris Paul out of Oklahoma City before the beginning of the 2019-20 season have been “parked.”
Wojnarowski, who breaks a majority of the NBA’s news, tweeted “… discussions to move nine-time All-Star Chris Paul onto a new destination are parked and an increasing expectation exists that he will start the season with the Thunder.”
A few minutes later, Wojnarowski wrote, also via Twitter, that as a result of no potential trades materializing from talks that had already occurred, “Both sides believe there are benefits to Paul, 34, playing out the year with the Thunder.”
Paul was sent to the Thunder by Houston, as well as top-four protected first-round draft picks in the 2024 and 2026 drafts and the additional right for OKC to exercise first-round draft swaps in the 2021 and 2025 drafts, in exchange for Russell Westbrook.
Paul began his NBA career playing home games in Oklahoma City as a member of the New Orleans Hornets, who had been displaced by Hurricane Katrina prior to the 2005-06 season.
Last season with the Rockets, playing 32 minutes per game, Paul appeared in 58 games and averaged 15.6 points and 8.2 assists against 2.6 turnovers.