Oklahoma City’s Thunder guard Chris Paul is expected to be one of the most coveted players on the commercial market in the NBA 2020 offshore season. Paul may be the main reason the Thunder are currently in the playoff game, but with the team which is heading towards an inevitable reconstruction, is considered as a strange adaptation in their list. Compared to the previous offseason, Paul’s commercial value has skyrocketed.
With his impressive performance in the 2019-2020 NBA season, Paul should receive a lot of interest, not only from legitimate title contenders who desperately need a boost in the backcourt, but also from young reconstruction teams who need a leader who would lead their young core. In the past few months, Paul has already been connected to several NBA teams, including the New York Knicks. According to Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley, in addition to getting rid of his huge contract, the Thunder could also acquire a commercial package that includes young players and future draw choices by swapping Paul for the Knicks.
In the proposed trade deal, the Knicks would send Julius Randle, Dennis Smith Jr., Bobby Portis and a 2020 first round pick to the Thunder in exchange for Paul.
Paul’s departure would really lower Thunder’s level of competitiveness in the NBA 2020-21 season, but would allow them to acquire three players who fit Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s timeline. Randle, Smith Jr. and Portis are still young enough to be part of the Thunder’s reconstruction plan. Using the choice of the first round of 2020, the Thunder could add another young and promising talent to their list.
At this point in his career in the NBA, Paul would certainly prefer to be swapped with an NBA team that has a realistic chance of contending for the NBA championship title. However, with Leon Rose currently running the show in New York, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Paul made a commitment to the Knicks. While paying him a large sum of money, Rose could ask Paul to help them guide their young players, install a winning culture on their team and change the image of the organization among the NBA elite.