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NBA exec expects Thunder GM Sam Presti to trade Chris Paul ‘for something useful’

Sam Presti, Chris Paul, Thunder

An anonymous NBA executive expects Oklahoma City Thunder general manager Sam Presti to trade veteran point guard Chris Paul “for something useful” down the line.

Paul is expected to begin the 2019-20 season on the Thunder. However, Presti will most likely try and find a trade partner for CP3 before the February 2020 trade deadline.

“Once Paul George was traded, it was the next natural move (to trade Russell Westbrook). Then again, he’s the guy who stayed,” the exec told Keith Smith of Real GM. “It was the right move, especially considering all they got back. But some of that was to eat (Chris) Paul’s contract. But I bet Sam (Presti) flips Paul for something useful too.”

Chris Paul has three years left on his contract. The future Hall of Famer will make $38.5 million next season, $41 million in 2020-21 and has a player option worth $44 million for the 2021-22 season.

Paul and the Thunder likely won’t agree to a buyout since Paul would have to give up a lot of money for that to happen. For now, OKC appears content with having Paul mentor Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

This past season with the Houston Rockets, Paul averaged 15.6 points, 4.6 rebounds and 8.2 assists in 58 games. The nine-time All-Star shot 41.9 percent from the field, 35.8 percent from beyond the arc and 86.2 percent from the free-throw line.