The most beloved player in Oklahoma City Thunder history saw his tenure with the team come to an end on Thursday night. Oklahoma City, amid its hectic offseason that already saw Paul George get sent to the Clippers, flipped Russell Westbrook to the Houston Rockets, giving the former league MVP the chance to play alongside his friend, James Harden, and compete for a title.
In exchange, the Thunder built on their sizable war chest of assets, acquiring several first-round picks and potential pick swaps with the Rockets. As for a player, the headliner was Chris Paul, who is returning to the city where he played when the then-New Orleans Hornets had to temporarily relocate in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Immediately after the move was reported, basketball fans began to wonder what the future holds for Paul, who is starving for a title and does not fit into the Thunder’s apparent timetable for a rebuild. But according to Sam Amick of The Athletic, Oklahoma City now sees a path for the team to be good next year with Paul running the show.