This Clippers-Thunder trade would pair Chris Paul with Paul George, Kawhi Leonard

Lou Williams, Thunder
USA Today Images

Why the Thunder Should Do It

Neither Chris Paul’s age nor his salary fit into the Thunder’s long term plans.

Not only will Paul make $41 million next season, he also holds a player option for 2021-22, in which he’ll make $44 million.

It’s a safe bet that Paul exercises that option, so in reality he’s under team control for two more years. And, while the Thunder made the playoffs last season, Oklahoma City is headed for a rebuild, largely thanks to all the Clippers’ picks, ironically.

This trade would give the Thunder a few veterans in the back court in Beverly and Williams, while also adding McGruder and Green.

The primary goal in any Paul trade would be to offload his massive salary. The Thunder cannot do that without accepting a good portion of salary in return, but this would absolve them of paying the final two seasons of Paul’s contract.