When the Oklahoma City Thunder acquired Chris Paul from the Houston Rockets for Russell Westbrook, it seemed inevitable they would flip him. His age (35 now) and contract ($38.5 million this year, over $40 million the next two years) made Paul a poor fit for a franchise in transition.
The mutual decision for head coach Billy Donovan not to be back next season will push the Thunder toward their rebuild. Young talent and a bunch of draft picks puts them in a good position to execute a rebuild quickly. But there are natural lingering questions about Paul’s place in that equation, if he even has one.
The Milwaukee Bucks made an early exit from the playoffs, as the Miami Heat dismissed them 4-1 in the second round. The long-term future of Giannis Antetokounmpo is a big question, but the Bucks are set to stay the course and run it back next year. A move or two could be made, if only to shake things up a little.
Could the Bucks make a trade for Chris Paul? The $41.358 million he’s due next season, and a $44.2 million player option he’ll surely pick up for the following year, will make it a challenge.
But two credible reporters are pointing to the Bucks pursuing Paul this offseason. So let’s take some spins through the Trade Machine, and come up with three possible packages that could bring Paul to Milwaukee.