Thunder increasingly expect Chris Paul to start season with team

Chris Paul will now likely start next season playing for the Oklahoma City Thunder

Chris Paul will now likely start next season playing for the Oklahoma City Thunder. More

Trade talks involving Paul are "parked", ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Wednesday.

Should Paul stick with the Thunder, OKC could still be a threat to make the National Basketball Association playoffs in the revamped Western Conference, which is bad news for a Kings team looking to make another leap and snap their 13-year playoff drought. While he's hardly a building block given his advanced age and recent regression, Paul sticking around in OKC for a year might not be the worst thing in the world.

A native of Winston-Salem, NC, the Wake Forest product has three years remaining on a four-year deal that carries an annual average salary of just under $40 million.

The Thunder have been working with Paul's camp to find a suitable trade destination for the nine-time All-Star, however "nothing has materialised" thus far, Wojnarowski added.

Thunder GM Sam Presti reportedly welcomes the idea of playing the 34 year old guard. The pairing with James Harden was thisclose to a Finals in 2018 ... and Paul was injured and didn't play in the famous 7-for-44 from beyond the arc Game 7 against the Warriors.

Paul, who began his National Basketball Association career in Oklahoma City, averaged 15.6 points, 4.6 rebounds and 8.2 assists per game for the Rockets last season. OKC also picked up two first-round picks and two swaps in the bargain, adding to a substantial stockpile as they move on following the trade of the last foundational piece to their franchise-opening run of success.

If Miami wants to be aggressive in upcoming free agencies, then passing on any trade involving Paul would be the correct move.

In the voice message, the man, who identified himself as being from Virginia, said he hoped "to kill everybody" and criticized the Thunder's decision to trade George.

The 2017 regular season MVP had spent his entire career with the Thunder since being selected with the fourth overall pick of the 2008, but Oklahoma felt its title window had closed and opted to press the reset button instead.

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