12up Logo12up Logo

Chris Paul Potentially Staying in OKC Could Do Wonders for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

OAKLAND, CA - MAY 22:  Chris Paul #3 of the Houston Rockets reacts after a basket against the Golden State Warriors during Game Four of the Western Conference Finals of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at ORACLE Arena on May 22, 2018 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

After Chris Paul was shockingly dealt to the OKC Thunder for Russell Westbrook, it was expected CP3 would be moved to facilitate a rebuild.

But with those trade talks seeming to come to a halt, Paul may not be happy. Yet, it could be great for the development of new teammate Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and the future of the Thunder.

Chris Paul's move to OKC was expected to be a temporary arrangement while the team worked on trade deals for a better destination for Paul. But Paul's increasing age, likelihood of injury and heft contract made him an almost impossible piece to deal in the time allotted. The latest reports are saying that he is expected to start the season with the Thunder.

This is probably not what either party was expecting out of this deal, but there may be some good in it after all.

The Thunder were able to obtain All-Rookie point guard Gilgeous-Alexander through their trade agreement with the LA Clippers for Paul George. The young guard has plenty of talent, but could use some experience playing under or next to a polished legend like CP3.

In his first season, Gilgeous-Alexander averaged 10.8 points, 3.3 assists, and 2.8 rebounds per game while leading all rookies in minutes played (28.5 per game) and scoring.

With these numbers, there's no question that Gilgeous-Alexander can be the future of the Thunder, and that's where Chris Paul comes in.

As an eight-time All-NBA and nine-time All-Defense team member with 13 seasons under his belt, he is the perfect mentor to help shape Gilgeous-Alexander into an All-NBA level guard.

If trade negotiations for Paul continue through the season as they have through the summer, he may have to get used to the veteran mentor role as his career winds down.