January 24, 2021

Report: Thunder trading Chris Paul to Suns in blockbuster deal

2 min read
The Oklahoma City Thunder are finalizing a deal to trade Chris Paul to the Phoenix...

The Oklahoma City Thunder are finalizing a deal to trade Chris Paul to the Phoenix Suns, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports.

Wojnarowski reports the Suns will be sending Kelly Oubre, Ricky Rubio, Ty Jerome, Jalen Lecque and a 2022 first-round pick back to the Thunder in the deal. Abdel Nader will also be going to Phoenix.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the draft pick going to the Thunder is top-12 protected in 2022, top-10 protected in 2023, top-eight protected in 2024 and unprotected in 2025.

The move is the latest signal that the Thunder are entering a rebuild after Paul led the team to a surprise playoff berth in the Disney bubble. Paul joins an exciting up and coming team in the Suns, who went 8-0 in the NBA’s restart but fell just short of the playoffs. It also reunited Paul with head coach Monty Williams, who coached the future Hall of Famer in New Orleans.

Despite now being 35, Paul remains one of the top point guards in the NBA. Last season in 70 games with the Thunder, he averaged 17.6 points and 6.7 assists per game while shooting 49 per cent from the field. For his effort, he was named to the All-NBA second team.

For Paul’s experience, the Suns paid a steep price. Oubre, 24, continues to improve every season and set a career-high with over 18 points a game last season. He should slot in as a starter for the Thunder next season. Rubio, 30, will replace Paul at point guard and as a veteran presence on the young Thunder. He’s signed for two more seasons, making at least $17 million each year. Jerome, a 2019 first-round pick, and Lecque, who was an undrafted rookie last season, will add more depth to the already deep pool of prospects and picks the Thunder have accumulated in recent years.

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