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Thunder comfortable having Chris Paul on roster next season

Chris Paul, Thunder

The Oklahoma City Thunder is currently exploring potential trade avenues for veteran point guard Chris Paul after a blockbuster trade forced them to part ways with lifelong franchise star Russell Westbrook. However, if it isn’t possible to make a deal, the Thunder would be comfortable having Paul on the roster heading into this upcoming season, according to Brett Dawson and Michael Lee of The Athletic.

“A core of Paul, Steven Adams and Danilo Gallinari — acquired along with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in the George trade — might not be good enough to make the playoffs nor bad enough to bottom out in the lottery.”

It’s likely that Paul would prefer to be dealt to a contender, and GM Sam Presti likely trusts his chances to get a good return for the point guard, considering he didn’t try to get another team involved to take on Paul’s three-year, $124 million contract.

At age 33, the dime maestro is hoping to make the most of what his legs can give him at this point, but with so many frozen assets in locked-down money from this free agent extravaganza, the options remain slim.

Having whiffed on their desire to acquire Westbrook, the Miami Heat could be interested in trading for the next best available point guard in the market — and Paul could be that guy if they agree on the right price.

The Heat recently put rookie Tyler Herro and center Bam Adebayo off the table, but they might have to reconsider that stance if they are to swing big for Paul’s services.

While the Thunder won’t mind keeping him if the right trade doesn’t come along, it’s unlikely that Paul would be a happy camper playing one of his last few years for a non-contender.