Chris Paul pragmatic about trade rumors: ‘If something happens, it will’
Chris Paul is at the center of myriad trade rumors, and the rampant speculation that the Oklahoma City Thunder may seek out a trade to move the expensive veteran point guard is seemingly having little effect on him.
The Thunder appear by all accounts to be a team in transition. OKC and head coach Billy Donovan agreed to part ways in September, and the Thunder recently promoted assistant Mark Daigneault to replace him.
With a slew of draft picks, an unproven, young coach and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander serving as a potential centerpiece for a rebuild, many believe the Thunder would be wise to deal Paul should a compelling trade offer make its way to the team.
And if such a scenario comes to fruition, Paul will accept it. If not, that’s fine to the veteran star as well.
Appearing Thursday night on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” Paul opened up about what it’s like to be the subject of such persistent trade rumors.
“Man, I’m going into year 16, so I’ve heard just about every rumor you could possibly hear,” Paul told the host. “You learn to control what you can control. I’m training, getting ready for the season. If something happens, it will. If not, I love being in Oklahoma with our team.”
There have been no shortage of teams rumored to have interest in acquiring Paul — including the Knicks, Clippers, Lakers and 76ers — though the seriousness of any talks between the Thunder and the noted teams remain unclear.
The Suns, on the other hand, appear to be a serious player for Paul. The Thunder and Suns reportedly have engaged in discussions pertaining to a potential Paul trade. Likely making such a deal more realistic is Paul is said to be at least amenable to heading to Phoenix.
The biggest stumbling block to any possible deal is Paul’s sizable salary. The superstar has a $41.4 million salary owed to him for the 2020-21 season. A $44.2 million player option for the 2021-22 campaign looms as well. Any team that were to acquire Paul would need to have plenty of room in their books to make room for the star.
Whether or not the Thunder will decide to trade Paul remains up in the air. Either way, it’s clear by his comments that Paul isn’t sweating it either way.