RUMOR: Chris Paul the likeliest star to get traded this offseason, per NBA agents
The Athletic recently surveyed 20 anonymous NBA agents about a number of compelling matters in the upcoming offseason, with one of them being the likeliest star to switch teams. As it turns out, Oklahoma City Thunder All-Star point guard Chris Paul sits atop their list, with majority of these agents expecting the Thunder to trade him away prior to the start of the new campaign.
Paul is no spring chicken, but he proved to be a difference-maker for the Thunder last season. He led this young squad to a highly improbable playoffs run, and this is exactly the type of impact other teams will expect as they try to trade for Paul. It is clear that at this point, the 35-year-old still has what it takes to turn a dark horse team into a championship contender.
Paul currently has two more years remaining on his current deal, but it is worth noting that he has a player option for the 2021-22 campaign. This means that unless he signs a new deal (which is highly unlikely) then he could walk away as a free agent next summer — be it from the Thunder or otherwise. Then again, if he opts out of his deal next summer, he would be turning down a guaranteed $44.2 million in salary. He’s going to be 36/37 by then, so it’s virtually impossible for him to broker a new deal that will allow him to pocket that amount of money.
The only scenario we see Chris Paul opting out is if he decides that he wants to join a legitimate contender. The 10-time All-Star has had an illustrious career, but he has yet to win a chip. This might motivate him to join a powerhouse team in a championship-seeking move. He will need to take a significant pay cut, though, so when that time comes, we should get a clear picture as to what Paul holds more dearly.