It seemed like Chris Paul wouldn't ever put on an Oklahoma City Thunder uniform, but now, the former Rocket may very well end up staying put for a while.
Paul and a package of draft picks and swaps were traded to the Thunder for Russell Westbrook in the wake of Paul George getting offloaded to the Clippers. CP3 may have lost a step as a 34-year-old, and he is in line to make (wait for it!) $44.2 million at 36 years old, but he's become a bit underrated. And he may be just what OKC needs at point guard in the post-Westbrook era.
Sure, the Rockets should've seized the opportunity to beat the Warriors sans Kevin Durant and Paul is no longer his old self, but he'll still go down as one of the best point guards of all time.
CP3 doesn't have a championship, but he's a four-time All-NBA First Team selection, plus three Second Teams and a Third Team. He's been First Team All-Defense seven times, led the league in assists four times and steals six times, and is one of the best floor generals we've ever seen. He still has something to offer.
Alongside an up-and-coming playmaker in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Paul can pass down knowledge and give the keys to SGA when he either retires or leaves OKC. With a scoring forward like Danilo Gallinari (19.8 PPG on 46% shooting last year) and Steven Adams down low, CP3 has always looked to set his teammates up first and can make the most out of OKC's roster.
Paul has a bad contract that'll be worse in two years, but his negative value has been overblown. CP3 is extremely passionate and pushes his teammates, which could make him the perfect replacement for a personality like Westbrook's.
The Thunder's ceiling since Kevin Durant left has generally been a first-round playoff exit. With CP3 at the helm, is it really that outrageous to see OKC in the playoffs again next season? The West is relentless, but so is he.