The Thunder are having difficulty finding a trade partner for Paul, and the point guard may be preparing to begin the season in Oklahoma City, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports.
After the Thunder traded for Paul earlier in July, the prevailing belief was that he'd be moved to a more favorable destination. But Wojnarowski reports that OKC has been unable to put together a favorable deal. Part of the reason for that is the inability for a number of newly signed players around the league to be traded, in addition to the relative lack of cap space around the league in the wake of free agency. Given the circumstances, the 34-year-old Paul may have no choice but to play out the season in Oklahoma City, which could still be a playoff contender with Steven Adams, Danilo Gallinari, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander as intriguing complementary pieces.
The Thunder acquired Paul on Thursday along with protected 2024 and 2026 first-round picks and first-round pick swaps in 2021 and 2025 from the Rockets in exchange for Russell Westbrook, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports.
Though Houston general manager Daryl Morey previously dismissed rumors earlier in the summer suggesting Paul demanded a trade amid discord with backcourt mate James Harden, the Rockets ultimately decided to ship the nine-time All-Star elsewhere in order to bring aboard Harden's former teammate in Oklahoma City. While Paul would project to see a sizable bump in usage if he sticks with the Thunder, Oklahoma City general manager Sam Presti is reportedly conferring with the point guard's agent, Leon Rose, to reroute Paul elsewhere, according to Wojnarowski. Since the 34-year-old is due $124 million over the next three seasons, the Thunder may not be able to procure a sizable return in any trade unless the team is willing to eat a decent portion of the money Paul is owed. With averages of 15.6 points, 8.2 assists, 4.6 rebounds, 2.2 three-pointers and 2.0 steals in 32.0 minutes per game in 2018-19, Paul still remains productive at this stage of his career, though injuries have limited him to fewer than 65 games in each of the past three seasons.
General manager Daryl Morey emphasized that Paul has not requested a trade from the Rockets, Zach Lowe of ESPN.com reports. "Tweet that I said that. Print it. Tweet it twice."
Whether or not a trade demand has been made by Paul, reports have been circulating that Houston's team chemistry has reached a low point, especially between Paul and Harden. While Morey has refuted the trade demand, it's certainly possible Paul gets dealt before the 2019-20 season begins.
Paul has demanded a trade from the Rockets, Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports reports.
Rumors have been circling all summer of the Rockets potentially dealing Paul and his lucrative contract, but it looks like Paul's relationship with superstar teammate James Harden and Houston is damaged beyond repair. Paul is certainly still capable of playing at a productive level when healthy, but the 34-year-old is still owed over $123 million over the next three years, making his contract tough to move. If his relationship with Houston really is this bad at this point, it's hard to envision the Rockets getting good value out of a trade involving Paul, especially because of how many future draft picks they have already used in other trades.
Paul ended with 27 points (11-19 FG, 3-6 3Pt, 2-2 FT), 11 rebounds, and six assists in 38 minutes during Friday's 118-113 loss to the Warriors.
Paul had his best game of the playoffs but it was to no avail as the Rockets were bundled out of the playoffs in six games. The Rockets blew a golden opportunity to force a Game 7 despite the best efforts of Paul. It will certainly be viewed as another lost season for the Rockets and with Paul still owed a lot of money over the next few seasons, one has to wonder where their mindset will be heading into the 2019-20 campaign. Paul is not getting any younger and was once again impacted by a number of issues across the season. The Rockets could indeed look at trying to trade a number of players, however, Paul is unlikely to be one of those given his unfavorable contract.
Paul tallied 17 points (5-9 FG, 3-6 3Pt, 4-7 FT), four assists, three rebounds, and three steals in 36 minutes during Sunday's 104-100 loss to the Warriors.
Paul was ejected in the final stages of Game 1 after picking up his second technical foul of the game. He had a running battle with the officials over what he viewed as a number of missed calls. It was certainly a theme for the Rockets as James Harden reiterated those feelings in his post-game press conference. It appears as though it is going to be another tightly fought series with the refereeing under close scrutiny from both sides.
Paul pitched in 15 points (6-16 FG, 1-4 3Pt, 2-2 FT), eight rebounds, five assists, and three steals in 37 minutes during Wednesday's 100-93 Game 5 win over the Jazz.
Paul produced in every department except blocks, though he did finish with more field goal attempts than points while committing three turnovers. By his own standards Paul posted a lackluster assist-to-turnover ratio in this series. Nevertheless, he does at least appear to be fully healthy heading into the second round.
Paul totaled 23 points (8-19 FG, 2-8 3Pt, 5-6 FT), eight rebounds, seven assists, five steals, and two blocks in 35 minutes during Monday's 107-91 loss to the Jazz in Game 4 of the series.
Paul did a bit of everything Monday, contributing across the board including an impressive five steals. It was not enough as the Rockets fell by 16-points, suffering their first loss of the playoffs thus far. Paul appears fully healthy and that is certainly the most important thing for the Rockets who will look to wrap things up on Wednesday when the series heads back to Houston.
Paul managed 17 points (5-11 FG, 1-6 3Pt, 6-6 FT), four rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks across 29 minutes during the Rockets' 118-98 win over the Jazz in Game 2 of their Western Conference first-round playoff series Wednesday.
Paul's offensive numbers may have paled in comparison to those of backcourt mate's James Harden, but there's hardly shame in that. The veteran point guard offered strong complementary contributions, and he's now averaging 15.5 points (on 51.9 percent shooting), 5.0 assists, 3.5 rebounds, 1.5 blocks and 1.5 steals across 30.5 minutes across the first two games of the series. Paul has averaged 11.5 shot attempts over the first pair of contests against Utah, and he should remain that involved at minimum in Game 3 on Saturday night.
Paul produced 24 points (9-15 FG, 5-9 3Pt, 1-1 FT), eight rebounds, six assists, and one steal in 34 minutes during Tuesday's 112-111 loss to Oklahoma City.
Paul finished with 24 points including five triples as the Rockets lost a heartbreaker to the Thunder. The Rockets will be hoping to avoid the Warriors in the second round of the playoffs but certainly, have to be thrilled the Paul is healthy heading into the post-season. Paul has had himself a nice finish to the season after missing a large chunk of games due to injury. His draft stocks are likely to fall once again next season given his injury-prone tag.
Paul scored 11 points (4-9 FG, 3-6 3Pt) while adding 10 assists, four rebounds and a steal in 24 minutes during Friday's 120-96 win over the Knicks.
The Rockets' starters got rested in the fourth quarter, but Paul was still able to record his 18th double-double of the season, albeit barely. The veteran point guard has been alternating big scoring nights with less impressive efforts lately -- he's scored 18 or more points in four of his last eight games, and 11 points or less in the other four -- but even with James Harden running the show, the team may need more consistency from Paul to make a deep playoff run.
Paul totaled 29 points (10-19 FG, 5-8 3Pt, 4-4 FT) seven assists, four rebounds, a steal and a blocked shot across 27 minutes in Wednesday's135-103 win over the Clippers.
Paul's shot was on point on Wednesday, converting over 50 percent of his shots to go along with five threes. When Both James Harden and Paul are dialed in, this offensive powerhouse is difficult to beat, and the duo is coming alive at the perfect time.
Paul pitched in 10 points (4-12 FG, 1-7 3Pt, 1-1 FT), 13 assists, five steals, and three rebounds in 27 minutes during Sunday's 113-90 win over the Pelicans.
Paul was inefficient as a scorer but posted a double-double and snagged at least five steals for the third time through 51 appearances this season. He has already recorded more double-doubles here in 2018-19 (18) than he did in 58 tilts last season (14), but these are still by far the two lowest totals of his entire career.
Paul finished with 18 points (7-15 FG, 0-3 3 Pt, 4-4 FT), five assists, three rebounds, one steal and one block over 34 minutes in the Rockets' win over the Spurs on Friday.
Paul filled out the stat sheet in Friday's win, and it looks like the Rockets' guard is back to form after several big games in a row. Paul is usually a good bet for lofty assist totals and steals, but he can score when necessary.
Paul scored 13 points (4-10 FG, 2-6 3Pt, 3-4 FT) while adding 11 assists, three steals and a rebound in 29 minutes during Tuesday's 121-105 win over the Hawks.
It's his second straight double-double, and the veteran point guard seems to be finding a rhythm alongside James Harden after missing nearly half the season to injury. Paul is now averaging 13.1 points, 8.4 assists, 5.3 boards, 2.1 three-pointers and 1.6 steals through eight games in March.
Paul produced 25 points (8-12 FG, 6-7 3Pt, 3-3 FT), 10 assists, seven rebounds, and one steal in 29 minutes during Sunday's 117-102 victory over Minnesota.
Paul returned after missing the previous game due to rest, hitting six triples on his way to a game-high 25 points. Paul is hitting his straps at the right end of the season and has the Rockets poised to go deep into the playoffs. He may still incur the odd rest day down the stretch but all signs are pointing to him putting up big numbers as long as he can remain healthy.
Paul (rest) will play Sunday against the Timberwolves, Alykhan Bijani of The Athletic reports.
As expected, Paul will return to the starting five after sitting out Friday's game against the Suns for rest. Eric Gordon will remain in the lineup, while Danuel House shifts to the bench.
Paul will not play in Friday's game against the Suns due to rest purposes, Alykhan Bijani of The Athletic reports.
While Paul did have a day of rest after he played 33 minutes in Wednesday's loss to the Warriors, the Rockets will take advantage of a stand alone game against the lowly Suns and give the veteran a night off. With Paul out of the lineup, James Harden will likely take over primary point guard duties while Austin Rivers is in line to enter the starting lineup.
Paul pitched in 24 points (7-12 FG, 2-6 3Pt, 8-8 FT), six rebounds, and three assists in 33 minutes during Wednesday's 106-104 loss to the Warriors.
Paul finished with twice as many points as field goal attempts while sinking all of his free throws, providing an efficient offensive performance despite totaling as many turnovers (three) as assists. He's posting his lowest scoring average and field goal percentage this season, so this was a pleasantly surprising performance against the two-time defending champions. Friday's matchup versus the lowly Suns, who sport one of the league's worst defenses, represents another opportunity for Paul to put up a decent amount of points while raising his shooting percentages.
Paul scored 10 points (3-8 3Pt, 2-4 3Pt, 2-2 FT) while adding 10 rebounds, four assists and a block in 29 minutes during Monday's 118-106 win over the Hornets.
It wasn't a particularly productive night for the veteran point guard, but Paul still delivered his 14th double-double of the season, eight of which have come in the last 14 games. He's now averaging 14.7 points, 9.3 assists, 5.6 boards, 2.2 three-pointers and 1.6 steals over that stretch.
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