Paul, Thunder believe there are benefits to staying together

Veteran point guard Chris Paul was traded to the Thunder for Russell Westbrook.

The Oklahoma City Thunder have been unable to find a trade centered on Chris Paul and the sides are prepared to begin the season together, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Paul was acquired last week in a trade with the Houston Rockets for Russell Westbrook.

“Oklahoma City has been working with Paul and his representatives on finding a trade, but nothing is materializing so deep into summer free agency,” Wojnarowski reported. “Both sides believe there are benefits to Paul, 34, playing out the year with the Thunder.”

Paul has three years and $124 million left on his contract. He would be the point guard in a starting lineup that is also likely to feature shooting guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, small forward Andre Roberson, power forward Danilo Gallinari and center Steven Adams.

“Thunder general manager Sam Presti welcomes the idea of Paul playing for his franchise this season, and Paul has warmed to the idea of the Thunder as a landing spot for the year based on the organization and a competitive talent-level,” Wojnarowski wrote.

Paul played in Oklahoma City when the New Orleans Pelicans (then called the Hornets) relocated in 2005-06 because of the damage from Hurricane Katrina.

Paul averaged 15.6 points and 8.2 assists in 58 games last season.

The Rockets also sent first-round picks in 2024 and 2026 to the Thunder in the Paul-Westbrook trade.

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