Chris Paul trade talks stall, could play for Thunder

Before confirming his move to Los Angeles, Leonard recruited George and convinced the 29-year-old to join him in Southern California-where both players hail from. Matching Paul's salary in a deal is problematic for the Thunder at the moment.

Paul was acquired from the Houston Rockets last week along with a bevy of future draft assets in exchange for the Thunder's franchise player, Russell Westbrook.

When the Oklahoma City Thunder acquired Chris Paul this offseason, the consensus around the National Basketball Association was that he'd be shipped to another team.

Oklahoma City's discussions to move nine-time All-Star guard Chris Paul to a new destination are parked, and an increasing expectation exists that he will start the season with the Thunder, league sources tell ESPN. However, the market for Paul will likely increase after December 15, the date free agents signed this off-season can be traded.

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While both parties were interested in a trade from OKC, Wojnarowski notes that nothing satisfactory has materialized and both sides recognize the benefits of Paul playing the year with the Thunder.

It's hard to trade Paul due to the $124.1 million remaining on the final three years of his contract. But that trade, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, doesn't appear to be happening any time soon. The Thunder don't have a Western Conference championship contender, but they do have a core with Paul, Danilo Gallinari, Steven Adams, Dennis Schroder and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander that will not be participating in the NBA's annual race to the bottom. Paul reportedly has warmed to the idea of playing in OKC. It was an easy joke to pair pics of the rookie Paul and the vet, a real-life FaceApp sight gag.

Late last week, the Houston Rockets traded Paul and two future first-round picks to the Thunder for Russell Westbrook in a blockbuster deal.

  • Lawrence Cooper