Mavericks Vying for Chris Paul?

Erik Gee

By now, you have read tons of articles about teams that will be knocking on the Thunder's door about a possible Chris Paul trade. But who is really in the race? 

The Knicks? Jazz? Bucks? 76ers? How about the Dallas Mavericks? Mark Cuban's team is the last to be thrown into the pile of those who want the veteran point guard's services. 

This news comes courtesy of Brandon "Scoop B" Robinson from Heavy.com, who puts Dallas squarely in the Paul sweepstakes. Our friend Mike Fisher from Dallas Basketball pours cold water on that idea. 

In Dallas, using the most viable example:

-The fewest amount of players the Mavs could send OKC to make the money work would be three.

-One of those three would have to be Tim Hardaway Jr.

-Hardaway Jr.'s involvement would be dependent on him opting in.

-In addition to Hardaway being sacrificed in such a trade, to make it all work money-wise, Delon Wright could also be involved.  (Viable). And so would Dwight Powell. (Not a sacrifice everyone at Mavs HQ would endorse.)

That's two-plus vital pieces - to be used on the court or to be used in better future deals - for the expensive rental of a fine player who is 37 years old while still collecting his $44 million from Dallas.

While Fisher objects, this is the first trade Thunder fans might get behind. Giving up, Paul is not going to be easy, but at least Oklahoma City would get three players all under the age of 30.

Not sure how Powell figures into any deal being made, he suffered a season-ending Achilles tear in January, but he has a three year $33.000,000 extension. How willing Sam Presti would be to trade for a guy suffered a significant injury, even though he's said to be progressing towards a return, remains to be seen.  

Any moves Presti makes are for the future, not for the present. Thunder fans may have to get used to missing the playoffs in the next couple of years to be successful down the road. 

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With more than 20 years of experience hosting local and national radio shows, Erik Gee is a fixture of Oklahoma sports media. He has covered the Oklahoma City Thunder for the past six seasons. He is also the co-host of the Pat Jones show on 97.1 The Sports Animal in Tulsa.

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