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Report: Miami Heat Want Both of Their 1st-Round Picks Back in Any Chris Paul Deal
- Updated: July 16, 2019
Paul was traded from the Houston Rockets to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Westbrook. With several days having passed since that deal took place, it is becoming clear that the Heat are not nearly as interested in Paul as they were in the former league MVP.
Brian Windhorst of ESPN took to Monday’s episode of “SportsCenter” to explain that one thing that is holding up any possible deal from taking place is that the Heat are asking for the Thunder to sweeten the deal with Miami’s two unprotected first-round picks that the Thunder currently possess.
“When you talk about him potentially going to the Miami Heat, which is his preference, one thing I’ve been told in the talks; the fact that the Thunder hold the two of the Heat’s first-round picks in the future — unprotected 2021, protected 2023 — makes this a difficult conversation because the Heat want those picks back,” Windhorst said. “The Thunder have expressed an interest in giving one of those picks back but they would want another pick farther off into the future. So I do think that these teams have a lot to talk about.”
The Thunder acquired a serious war chest of picks and young players in exchange for former star Paul George, whom they traded to the Los Angeles Clippers over a week ago. With their team now fully in rebuild mode, it makes sense that they are not interested in dealing away two highly valuable unprotected picks.
Still, they have very little leverage when it comes to dealing with Miami. Paul’s albatross contract, injury history, and age make him arguably the least attractive star to acquire in the entire league.
While the Heat may ultimately agree to take Paul off of the Thunder’s hands, it is abundantly clear that they are going to need some added incentive to do so.