Phoenix Suns Acquire Chris Paul

A New Big Three out West

Just minutes after the NBA Moratorium period was lifted at 12:00pm Est yesterday afternoon, the first major trade was announced. Chris Paul on his way to Phoenix to join forces with Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton. This deal between the Phoenix Suns and Oklahoma City Thunder has been gaining momentum for a week or so and just needed the official go ahead to complete the swap. Just like that, a new ‘Big Three’ was formed in the West.

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Chris Paul, Devin Booker, and Deandre Ayton form a new ‘Big 3’ in Phoenix

In addition to Chris Paul, the Thunder will be sending Abdel Nader to Phoenix. In return, the Oklahoma City Thunder will receive Kelly Oubre Jr., Ricky Rubio, Ty Jerome, Jalen Lecque and a 2022 first round pick.

Overall, I think this trade really benefits both teams.

For the Suns, this is a ‘Win now’ move. That front office just witnessed their franchise run the table in the NBA Bubble going 8–0 and still missed the playoffs. They looked like a team that is one or two pieces away from taking that next step and making a run in the post season.

While many speculated whether Devin Booker wanted to stay in Phoenix, this moves seems to signify that he will be in a Suns uniform for the foreseeable future. If you are Devin Booker, you must be ecstatic about this move. He will no longer bare such an offensive burden.

Chris Paul proved that he is still an elite point guard in the NBA that can also help with the development of the young talent that he shares a locker room with. This should be the same for Booker. Although Devin Booker is already an elite player in his own right, Chris Paul will help him become a winner. Winning is something he has not been able to do on his own in Phoenix.

The combination of Chris Paul, Devin Booker, and Deandre Ayton should be a force in the West and Suns fans should be very excited for the future.

For the Thunder, they acquire yet another 1st round pick. This brings their total to 17 after both the Chris Paul trade to Phoenix and the Dennis Schroder trade to the Lakers. 17 first round picks for OKC from now until 2027. Sam Presti has done an amazing job acquiring future assets for players who were not a part of his vision for the Thunder moving forward. Early candidate for NBA GM of the year.

They also acquired a few young, talented athletes… and Ricky Rubio… who should have a ton of opportunity to showcase their abilities for this OKC team.

Kelly Oubre Jr. is as athletic as they come. He has been a solid role player each stop he has made in his young career. He should find himself in more of a leadership role with OKC. I expect him to be in the NBA’s Most Improved Player conversation after this season.

Ricky Rubio, the veteran from Spain is getting set to play for his 4th different franchise throughout his career. A facilitator who should start at the Point Guard Position come opening night. If the Thunder decide to keep Stephen Adams, he and Rubio should combine for a nice 1–2 punch off the pick and roll.

Ty Jerome and Jalen Lecque are both coming off their rookie seasons. Jerome was drafted late in the first round by Phoenix and Lecque went undrafted before signing a 4-year deal with the Suns.

Ty Jerome has not been able to showcase his entire skillset as his playing time at the NBA level was limited. He did get plenty of opportunity with the Suns G League Affiliate — The Northern Arizona Suns. He is a swiss army knife type of player. Does not do anything particularly well but has a very nice all-around game. He should see some more tick in OKC this upcoming season.

Jalen Lecque is a freak athlete. I had the privilege of watching him up close and personal when I worked with the Windy City Bulls. He is an ELITE athlete. He can flat out fly… I am excited to see what he can do with increased opportunity. However, the jury is still out on whether he is just an athlete or if he can really make an impact for an NBA franchise.

Chris Paul has been the centerpiece of 3 trades now. From the Clippers to the Rockets. Rockets to Thunder and Thunder to Suns. Each trade in which Chris Paul was the center-piece has yielded such a high return for the teams trading him. Let’s take a look back at the previous trades involving CP3.

- Trade #1 — Clippers to Rockets

o Clippers Receive

— Patrick Beverly

— Lou Williams

— Montrezl Harrel

— Sam Dekker

— Kyle Wiltjer

— Darrun Hilliard

— DeAndre Liggins

— Future 1st Round Pick

— Cash

o Rockets Receive

— Chris Paul

- Trade #2 — Rockets to Thunder

o Rockets Receive

— Russell Westbrook

o Thunder Receive

— Chris Paul

— 1st Round Pick in 2024

— 1st Round Pick in 2026

— Right to Swap 1st Round Picks in 2021 and 2025

- Trade #3 — Thunder to Suns

o Thunder Receive

— Kelly Oubre Jr.

— Ricky Rubio

— Jalen Lecque

— Ty Jerome

— 1st Round Pick in 2022

o Suns Receive

— Chris Paul

— Abdel Nader

The trade that sent Russell Westbrook to the Rockets and CP3 to the Thunder was the only trade in which the team trading away Chris Paul received less value. That trade in hindsight looks lopsided in favor of the Thunder considering how the Russell Westbrook and James Harden experiment panned out in Houston.

Overall, it is nice to look at a trade at its surface and say that both teams came out ahead. This is often not the case.

However, at its core, this deal looks like a win-win. The Thunder win because they acquired young talent and yet another valuable 1st round pick. The Suns win because they land Chris Paul to pair alongside their young franchise centerpieces of Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton.

NBA fans, I have great news…

The madness is only beginning… Trade market just opened, 2020 NBA Draft on Wednesday, November 18th and Free Agency opening on Friday, November 20th. Let the games begin.

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