Now that Russell Westbrook has been traded, the presumed next superstar on the NBA’s trade block is the man for whom he was moved, Chris Paul. While he could stay in Oklahoma City, play for what should be a solid Thunder team, and serve as a mentor for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Paul wants to win a ring, and OKC just isn’t in a position to compete right now without digging into their war chest of future draft picks.
The team that has popped up as an obvious landing spot has been the Miami Heat, which were reportedly in the Westbrook sweepstakes before he was sent to Houston. The Eastern Conference is far more open than the Western Conference this year, and while it’s fair to question if Paul and Jimmy Butler could make it to the Finals, it would be a formidable pairing nonetheless.
There’s just one problem. According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, the Heat’s interest in acquiring Paul isn’t quite as high as it was for Westbrook, even if they are looking into a move.
Miami could, conceivably, put together an interesting package for Paul, as the team boasts a collection of young players and expiring/short-term contracts that could make the tricky math work. Perhaps things will accelerate eventually, but for now, it appears the Heat aren’t kicking down doors to bring in the future Hall of Fame inductee.