Chris Paul is Headed to Phoenix
The king of complaining is headed to the desert! Woj bombed everyone right in the middle of this workday.
The Phoenix Suns are finalizing a deal to acquire Oklahoma City Thunder All-Star guard Chris Paul, sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 16, 2020
Some pundits were predicting that this was on the table, but it is still WILD.
Looking at the trade, this is what switched hands:
PHO got: Chris Paul and (former Celtics legend) Abdel Nader
OKC got: Kelly Oubre, Ricky Rubio, Ty Jerome, Jalen Lecque and a 2022 first-round pick
Let’s start with unpacking the Sun’s haul.
Future Hall of Famer Point God, ALL NBA 2nd team selection in 2020, help lead OKC to a few plays away from the 2nd round of playoffs in the west.
OKC was expected to be bad this past season, and Paul helped transform that team into a pesky bunch who could beat any other team on a given night.
The 2 guard lineup with SGA and Schrodinger’s cat was tremendous. Paul showed he has plenty left in the tank.
Abdel Nader is a toss in, but hey, sunny phoenix sounds lovely for him, so congrats.
The top end talent on the Suns improved tremendously. Now Paul or Booker can run the offense, which gives many more opportunities for the Suns.
Paul is still a very capable defender against PG’s which never hurts to have for a Suns team that has struggled at times on that end.
This should take what has been a joke of a team and build on what they did in the bubble, and allow for the squad to make the playoffs.
Also, CP3 is the master at working the refs, which is great for the 2020 NBA!
The war chest grows for Sam Presti! Another 1st round pick! Here is the summarized version of why this particular pick matters so much:
Why the 2022 first round draft pick matters:
1) There’s a major premium on 2021 picks, as NBA teams are anticipating what appears to be an outstanding upcoming class
2) Growing pessimism around the possibility of the age limit being eliminated in time for the 2022 draft. https://t.co/bwh6d2Z7OA
— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) November 16, 2020
With the loss of Paul, and soon the loss of Schroder, we will see the sad end of the 3 guard experiment in OKC. It is sad, but the blow up needed to happen. A plucky team only goes so far in the NBA these days.
Ricky Rubio is a reliable veteran presence, Ty Jerome is OK (Virginia is kinda lame but also it was a joy for them to win it all so IDK). Jalen Leque is bland as well.
However, after that pick, the prize here is the efficient two way potential beast that is Kelly Oubre. The potential is there for this kid to be a star.
With all these picks and a fantastic young PG in SGA, OKC is setting up to be very fun in a few years. Oubre has the game to be the prototypical two way, switchable wing.
We love that look for OKC with the long and promising SGA. Arms and switches for DAYS!
Who Won the Trade?
Honestly, both teams won this.
Long term, probably OKC, but the Suns needed a short term move, so this is also a win for them.
Losing Oubre hurts, but that is the price to get a player the caliber of Chris Paul. He is getting up there, but seems to have a few years left of elite play.
Pair him on offense next to the dynamic Devin Booker and the underrated and very good big in Ayton and this could be something.
This team was unbelievable in the bubble, but can they carry that high level of play into next season? With Paul, I think they can (not undefeated, but playoff caliber, sure!).
This really was a win – win. That being said, the suns are still a piece away from winning it all, so this is all for naught unless another stud heads to Phoenix.
However, Chris should help bring someone in.
It is a waiting game, really, to see who wins this one. It really is a true win-win.
OKC is going to be a handful in a few years, however. Let’s hope Presti uses all those picks well!
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