After co-authoring a Tuesday report revealing that the Suns and Thunder have discussed a potential Chris Paul trade, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst appeared on The Drive with Jody Oehler on FOX Sports 910 Phoenix on Wednesday morning to go into more detail on the possibility of a CP3 deal between the two Western clubs.
According to Windhorst, the Thunder have given Paul permission to talk to the Suns, which suggests that Oklahoma City is unlikely to complete a trade with Phoenix unless the veteran point guard is comfortable with it. And Windhorst does believe that CP3 has interest in becoming a Sun, pointing out that Phoenix’s proximity to Los Angeles – where Paul has a home – helps give the team a leg up.
Pressed to place odds on the two teams finalizing a trade, Windhorst told Oehler that he thinks the Suns and Thunder have better than a “50-50” chance to work something out.
Here’s more on the rumors connecting Paul to the Suns:
- John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 (Twitter link) wouldn’t expect the Suns to include the No. 10 pick in any offer for Paul. He adds that Phoenix may have to take advantage of its cap flexibility to complete a deal, noting that Frank Kaminsky and Aron Baynes aren’t expected to return to the team, which will free up some space (Twitter link).
- Gambadoro has also heard that the Thunder don’t want to take back any multiyear contracts, which would make a trade difficult, since Ricky Rubio almost certainly has to be included for salary-matching purposes (Twitter link). Oklahoma City doesn’t have real interest in Rubio – who has two years and $34.8MM left on his deal – or Kelly Oubre, per Gambadoro. That doesn’t mean a deal is impossible, but it means the Thunder and Suns could be motivated to try to get a third team involved.
- Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic weighs the pros and cons of acquiring Paul from the Suns’ perspective.