Should OKC Move Chris Paul?
There are great benefits to hitting the reset button, whether in life, sports, business — you name it. Sometimes it’s a necessary step, especially since trying to build to success in a few years’ time is far better than sticking with a losing strategy. Such is the case with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Following a number of years marked by early playoff exits, the Thunder decided to go to the rebuilding route and traded away their two talismans from last season, Paul George and Russell Westbrook. Trading George was a difficult but logical decision to make, as the Thunder received a few talented young players and a plethora of future first-round draft picks from the Los Angeles Clippers in return. However, trading Westbrook was heart-wrenching. Remember, Russell Westbrook has never played for another team, spending the first 11 years of his career in Oklahoma. He won an MVP award there, was a perennial All-Star, and averaged a triple-double in each of the past three seasons. Nonetheless, the Thunder decided to move on and acquired another trove of first-rounders from the Houston Rockets. And they also received superstar point guard Chris Paul.
The funny thing about a rebuild is that it’s necessary, but no one wants to be a part of it. Rebuilds are typically accompanied by lots of losing, and veteran players don’t like to be part of a team that’s going nowhere. So, the question has to be asked: Where will the Thunder send Chris Paul? Many experts are saying the Miami Heat, and I agree that Paul would fit that team very well, but will the Thunder pull the trigger on the deal? They should do it, to be honest, especially since they could probably acquire more young assets from the Heat, but recent news suggests that they won’t, because Sam Presti, the Thunder GM, believes that having Paul at the helm can help his team stay afloat.
I can’t for the life of me understand why they wouldn’t move him, as an unsuccessful Chris Paul would prove detrimental to reviving a strong locker room culture. I don’t know how this saga will end, but I do know one thing: The Thunder will lose a lot this coming season. With that in mind, OKC should be doing everything in its power to move Paul quickly in order to gather as many assets as possible for their rebuild.