Chris Paul led the Oklahoma City Thunder’s epic comeback over the Chicago Bulls, and Maddie Lee (The Oklahoman) says that Paul’s performance was his finest yet in Thunder blue. “On a day we learned there’s increasing likelihood Paul will be in Oklahoma City for the rest of the season, he reminded us and the rest of the basketball world of his splendor. CP had his finest hour as a Thunder. After stinking it up as the rest of the team did in the first half — he had more turnovers (three) than points (two) — Paul scored 19 points in the fourth quarter. He hit five of the six shots he took, all of them from behind the arc.”
Amidst all the trade rumors, it’s really remarkable that the team is playing so well together. They seem to genuinely enjoy playing together, and boy do these guys compete. I think a lot of that is attributable to the leadership of Paul and Danilo Gallinari.
Jeff Zillgitt (USA Today) ponders whether Paul would be willing to waive his player option in order to facilitate a trade. “Sticking with Oklahoma City, Chris Paul remains a fascinating trade topic. He’s owed $41.3 million next season and has a player option worth $44.2 million in 2021-22. That’s an onerous contract to trade and to absorb. Could Paul take the unusual route and agree to waive the option year to make a trade more agreeable for the other team? Seems unlikely he would bypass a $44 million payday. For context, Fred Jones agreed to not exercise his option year to facilitate a trade in 2007. But his final year was worth $3.5 million, not 13 times that. Plus, the Thunder may not be in a hurry to trade him given the playoff situation.”
Steven Adams is earning all kinds of compliments for his “refreshing” answer to his emotions while shooting potential game-winning free throws. “When athletes have to talk about a clutch situation they were involved in, they usually throw out every cliché in the book. These are the opportunities we love. This is what it’s all about. I was just focused on doing my job. I was just trying to stay in a positive frame of mind. Thunder center Steven Adams gave us the complete opposite of this kind of interview Monday night after the Thunder beat the Bulls, 109-106.
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