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Chris Paul unlikely to be traded this offseason?

Matt Johnson
NBA defense rankings: Chris Paul, Suns
Mar 6, 2020; New York, New York, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul (3) reacts during the second half against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Chris Paul has been instrumental in his team’s success this year despite rampant trade speculation. While the trade rumors will follow him into the offseason, it sounds like the 10-time All-Star might in Oklahoma for a while.

More than a year after the Thunder acquired Paul in the blockbuster Russell Westbrook trade with the hopes of flipping him, they could now be stuck with him and his contract.

Chris Paul expected to “stay put” this offseason

Oklahoma City shopped CP3 almost immediately after landing him this past summer. However, they didn’t receive a lot of trade interest due to his massive contract. While Paul played incredibly well during the shortened regular season, that bounce back year reportedly won’t be enough to change things.

“The contract is still too much,” an NBA general manager said, via Forbes’ Sean Deveney. “That is going to remain their problem. OKC, if they trade him, they’re going to want something back. But if I am going to take Chris Paul, I am looking at it like, ‘I am doing you the favor here, I am taking all this money off your hands.’ I don’t see that changing, I think he stays put.”

Paul is one of the NBA’s highest-paid players and his contract is going to get even worse next season. The 35-year-old will be owed $41.35 million in 2020-’21, coming at a time when the NBA’s salary cap will plummet due to this year’s revenue hit.

He also holds a player option for the 2021-’22 season that would pay him $44.2 million guaranteed. Unsurprisingly, Paul has no intention of waiving that option to help facilitate a trade.

Paui made it back to the All-Star Game this year for the first time since 2016. He also averaged 17.7 points, 6.8 assists, 1.6 steals and proved to be an incredible leader for the Thunder.

Despite everything he brings to the court, no NBA team can afford to take on that entire contract given the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. So, unless Oklahoma City is willing to eat a lot of money, Paul will likely be back with the Thunder next year.