Chris Paul for Caris LeVert? Bleacher Report proposes 3-team trade

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As far as Chris Paul trade ideas go, getting back a 26-year-old who is on an All-Star trajectory is ideal to the point of unrealistic.

But Bleacher Report proposed a three-team trade in which the Oklahoma City Thunder ship off the star point guard and get a return of three players headlined by rising Brooklyn Nets player Caris LeVert.

In this trade, Paul ends up with the Indiana Pacers, along with the Thunder’s No. 25 pick in the 2020 draft. The Pacers send Victor Oladipo and Jeremy Lamb to the Nets.

Brooklyn trades LeVert, Jarrett Allen and Taurean Prince to Oklahoma City.

This is quite a return for the Thunder.

LeVert looks like he will be an All-Star sooner than later. The wing got injured early in the 2019-20 season and was slow upon his return, but from Feb. 3 through March 10, he averaged about 24 points and five rebounds and assists apiece.

He was even better in the bubble. Over the final regular season games, he averaged 25 points, 6.7 assists and 5.0 rebounds. In the playoffs, he averaged 20.3 points, 9.5 assists and 6.0 rebounds, though Brooklyn did get swept by the Toronto Raptors.

With those performances on the front of Brooklyn’s mind, the Nets seem unlikely to trade LeVert, especially if the return is just one surefire year of Oladipo.

The 2017-18 All-NBA player was hampered by injury the last two seasons and was still trying to get back into form when he was last on the court. If healthy, Oladipo easily a top-20 player in the league. His defense would anchor the Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant-led team.

With Brooklyn in win-now mode, he would need to be that version of Oladipo immediately.

Plus, Oladipo’s contract expires after the 2020-21 season. Brooklyn would need to ensure that he resigns.

If he doesn’t, or if he isn’t back into prime form, the Nets would simply lose a building block in LeVert who has three years left at a very team-friendly deal.

Oklahoma City, in this proposal, also gets Allen, a strong post defender who could take Steven Adams’ role when the Big Kiwi’s contract expires after next season.

Prince is included to make the money work, but still just 26 years old, he too has some potential as a role player in the league.

All that for the Paul (and his expensive contract) and the No. 25 pick? Seems like a great deal for the Thunder.

For the Nets, it’s questionable. Big risk, but there’s a big reward, especially with Lamb providing some more offense.

As for the Pacers, Paul would be thrown into the corps of Malcolm Brogdon, Domantas Sabonis, Myles Turner and T.J. Warren. That looks like it’s still a playoff team, but Indiana would have to debate whether they could get a better return for Oladipo and if it’s worth taking on Paul’s contract.

Either way, it’s an interesting proposal from B/R.