The Phoenix Suns are expected to acquire 10-time NBA All-Star point guard Chris Paul from the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Kelly Oubre Jr., Ricky Rubio, Ty Jerome, Jalen Lecque, and a future first-round draft pick, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The Athletic’s Shams Charania reports that the picks are conditional depending on protections.
Why make a move?
After an 8-0 run in the NBA bubble, the Suns fell just short of a spot in the playoffs. The team was thought to be one star short, and now it has its star. Paul will be paired with Devin Booker, who emerged as a superstar in the bubble, to form one of the premier backcourts in the NBA.
The move bolsters Phoenix’s starting lineup and creates a potential “Big Three” between Paul, Booker and rising star DeAndre Ayton.
Paul, 35, was an all-star last season and led a surprising Thunder team to the fifth seed in the Western Conference playoffs. He averaged 17.6 points per game in the regular season alongside 6.7 assists. He was an efficient scorer, shooting 48% from the field and 36% from three on four attempts per game.
At what cost?
The compensation appears to be favorable from the Suns’ perspective. The team held onto young talent like Cam Johnson and Mikal Bridges and kept the 10th overall pick in Thursday’s draft. The loss of Oubre will certainly be felt on the wing, but Phoenix will be in a position to plug that hole through the draft or free agency.
On the OKC side, this is the latest of the forward-thinking moves the franchise has made as of late. Oubre will likely be a centerpiece of the Thunder’s future to pair with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Oklahoma City will also potentially add Danny Green and the Lakers’ first-round pick in Thursday’s draft after the Thunder reportedly agreed to send Dennis Schroder to LA Sunday.
Suns and Thunder fans, what do you think? What direction will these franchises be headed towards going forward? Let us know in the comments below or on social media.
Austin covers the Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Chargers for OT Heroics. Follow him on Twitter @AustinTurner_ . For more coverage on the NBA, check out the rest of the great content on Overtime Heroics.