All-Star Guard Chris Paul Traded To Suns

8:07pm: The trade is official, per a Suns press release.

12:11pm:  The Suns and Thunder are finalizing an agreement on a trade that will send All-Star point guard Chris Paul from Oklahoma City to Phoenix, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter).

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link), the Thunder will receive Ricky Rubio, Kelly Oubre, Ty Jerome, Jalen Lecque, and draft compensation in the deal. Wojnarowski adds that the Suns will also get Abdel Nader in the blockbuster swap (Twitter link).

The draft pick being sent from Phoenix to Oklahoma City in the trade is the Suns’ 2022 first-rounder, per Wojnarowski. Charania reports (via Twitter) that the pick will be top-12 protected. If it doesn’t change hands in 2022, it’ll be top-10 protected in 2023, top-eight protected in 2024, and unprotected in 2025.

The Suns, whose interest in Paul was first reported last week, are hoping that the veteran guard can help the team build upon its 8-0 showing during the Orlando restart and make the postseason in 2020/21. Paul, who will reunite with his former Pelicans coach Monty Williams, will join an intriguing core that includes star guard Devin Booker, former No. 1 overall pick Deandre Ayton, and promising young wings Cameron Johnson and Mikal Bridges.

While bigger-market teams (like the Knicks) and stronger contenders (including the Bucks) were cited in recent weeks as potential suitors for CP3, the 35-year-old won’t object to joining the Suns. The Thunder worked with Paul and his reps at CAA to get him to a preferred destination, per Woj (Twitter link). A report last week suggested that Phoenix’s proximity to Los Angeles appealed to Paul, who has a home in the L.A. area.

Phoenix will complete the trade without using the No. 10 pick in this year’s draft, so the club will have the opportunity on Wednesday to add another young prospect to that group. The Suns also have a couple different directions they could go in free agency.

Remaining over the cap and attempting to bring back Dario Saric and Aron Baynes is one option for the organization — the other would be to let those free agents go to open up cap room, then using up that space before officially finalizing the deal for CP3. In that scenario, Phoenix would only have the $4.8MM room exception left over, whereas if the team remains over the cap, the mid-level ($9.3MM) and bi-annual ($3.6MM) could be in play.

Meanwhile, the Thunder appear to be shifting into full-fledged rebuilding mode after outperforming expectations in 2019/20. They’ve now reached deals to move both Paul and Dennis Schröder. Steven Adams remains a trade candidate, as are the veterans Oklahoma City will receive in the two agreed-upon trades (Rubio, Oubre, and Danny Green).

Having acquired a pair of first-round picks and two future pick swaps in last year’s Paul/Russell Westbrook trade, the Thunder were able to parlay CP3’s strong season (17.6 PPG, 6.7 APG, 5.0 RPG) into yet another first-round selection. The franchise now owns three 2022 first-rounders and holds multiple first-round picks every year through 2026, as Tommy Beer of Forbes details (via Twitter).

By taking on Paul’s contract, the Suns will be on the hook for his $41.4MM salary in 2020/21 and his $44.2MM player option for ’21/22. Nader has a minimum salary for ’20/21 which will remain non-guaranteed even after his team option is exercised to complete this trade.

As for the Thunder, they’ll take on Oubre’s expiring $14.4MM salary and will be on the hook for $34.8MM over two years for Rubio. Jerome, who has a $2.3MM cap charge in 2020/21, is in the second year of a rookie scale contract, while Lecque has a guaranteed $1.5MM salary for ’20/21 and a non-guaranteed $1.8MM for ’21/22.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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103 thoughts on “All-Star Guard Chris Paul Traded To Suns

    • doug.daniel243

      So can someone please sum up to me the entire haul they got back for Russ now? This is essentially part of that trade and I want to know just how much they got in total. It has to be incredible.

    • Big trade by the suns. However I hope this deal workout for the suns. Because cp3 is an older PG with health issues. If only he can stay healthy then phoenix should be a really fun team to watch.

    • They are tired of being also-rans, mediocre. They feel like they’re close enough and ready to make a move. And it’s almost like a Giannis situation. They don’t want Booker to lose hope and demand out.

      • seamaholic

        All that may be true, but at 35, how much better is CP3 than Rubio at the point (Rubio gets a ton of grief for his man-bun and lack of shooting, but he’s actually a solid plaer)? And Oubre’s been a key contributor. There were nights last year when he was their best player.

        Don’t like this one bit for the Suns.

        • hiflew

          Booker should like this a lot. He might end up getting to be in some State Farm commercials with Carlton too.

        • burntredclam

          I love this trade for both teams. The Suns have needed a good veteran presence for the longest time, and now they can shed Rubios overpriced contract. Yeah the Suns lose Oubre but on the plus side he’s moving over to OKC where we can really see how great he is as a #1/2 guy on a team. He was always gonna sit behind Ayton Booker and probably now Bridges as a option if he stayed. So if you’re upset he’s gone yeah I kinda get it but just think about how good dudes future is gonna be.

        • Ironmonger835

          Chris Paul carried that Thunder team that everyone thought would be bad to the playoffs and they barely lost to Houston. Phoenix has a much better roster.

          • x%sure

            Thunder still had a good roster with CPaul, Gallinari and ShaiGA not Westbrook & mopey George. But I do remember resistance when I said playoffs.

            • hiflew

              I was in the same boat. I was also saying OKC would make the playoffs. Of course I also said Golden State would be fine without Klay Thompson and a superfluous Kevin Durant as well. So I’m okay people not remember the OKC thing as long as don’t remember the Warriors thing too.

            • siggers84

              I thought this and nearly put a bet on for them to make playoffs. But then didn’t because I though Paul would be traded. I think it was 50/1 (+50 in America).

          • Otogar

            I really don’t see how Phoenix roster is better… I’d say they will have more or less the same ceiling as OKC this year (a likely first round exit, which is not bad).

        • buttholesurfer69 2

          facts – this is a case of gm’s looking for lightning to strike twice visavis cp3 having back to back great yrs in his mid 30s

          smart move selling high by okc

    • Sports guy 2005

      Haven’t been to the playoffs in ten years. Simple as that. Plus it is a way to keep Booker happy.

  1. bravesninersnation

    Ugh they gave away a first round pick…. damn. I really hope this is what we need for a playoff push, although I think it’s our defense that needs the most help.

    • But really that’s all they give up, the 1st. I mean, Kelly oubre is a player but Phoenix has been shopping him forever. And Rubio is good but Paul takes his place. Good deal for Phoenix I like swinging for the fences.

    • hiflew

      Most 1st rounders turn into nothing more than role players. Especially picks 11-20 which is what that pick would likely be with the Suns roster as constructed. Sure there is a chance that OKC gets a star from the pick just simply because of opportunity, but there is also the chance that the very same player would be stuck on the bench for a Suns team with more talent.

    • Ironmonger835

      It’ll probably be a late first rounder. Ty Jerome was a late first rounder and how much did he matter this year?

  2. thekayz

    The Thunder have now (essentially) traded Westbrook for FIVE first rounders!!!

  3. Hawaiiboy

    I just don’t think at this stage Chris Paul is that great. He’s making a s**t ton of money and while you gave up more quantity than quality not a big fan of the deal for Phoenix.

  4. hiflew

    Where is the guy that said Paul will not get traded without 1st round picks attached?

    • Middle of the road first round pick possibly in the twenties, and Kelly oubre who’s in a contract year? It’s okay but you get rid of Paul’s big contract.

      Now OKC gets to watch Ricky Rubio shoot those 3 point set shots that barely make it over the rim because there’s no Arc.

      • afsooner02

        You realize we’re tanking right? So that’s exactly what we’re hoping for.

      • Eric Lord

        Rubio won’t be with the Thunder for long. They are turning the team over to Gilgeous-Alexander. Rubio will be moved somewhere

  5. raz427

    It’s a good deal for both teams, but doesn’t make CP3 get close to a NBA finals appearance. I really thought he would want to be on a title contending team at this stage of his career.

    • At 40 million dollar contract is hard to absorb for a finals contender. Most of them are at the luxury tax line or close to it. You’d have to ship out another guy making 40 or two guys making 20 to make it work. A championship team is not going to break up their squad like that.

      Something like this is all Chris Paul can hope for, but it’s not a bad situation. Phoenix could be in the hunt with Utah Denver Portland the Warriors and Dallas.

      • raz427

        Oh I agree. Phoenix should be in the playoffs now pending how they fill the rest of that bench out. I think they’re below the teams you aforementioned. Maybe a 7th spot is good for them?

        • Tatsumaki

          Higher, cp3 lead a team by himself to a 7 seed, imagine adding him to booker and ayton who just barely missed playoffs. Could be a 5/6 seed.

          • raz427

            Good point. I think Monty Williams is an excellent head coach. I’m inclined to think maybe a 6th? Denver Lakers Mavericks Blazers Jazz are better than a CP3 led Suns team still. I think if Harden or Russ get dealt. Pelicans will steal a spot in the playoff seeding.

  6. Sillivan

    Kelly Oubre is worth 35th pick, not 30th

    That is the reason Suns sent a First to Thunder

      • Boston2AZ

        That’s not uncommon out here. It pretty much speaks to the savvy of the PHX fan base.

  7. InvalidUserID

    As good as Paul is, seems like a lot for a 35 y/o. I guess it’s PHO looking to win now.

    • x%sure

      Suns say wrong stat. Try PER22, on/off plus6, 37%3.
      Rubio is okay: PER 17, same on/off, 36%3… I guess the Suns are partly paying for attitude, for the fight to break into the next level.
      Big dif between that and losing Booker to frustration! And now, losing a top pick too if they stagnate anyway. Pressure is on.
      Oubre was not popular personally and the Suns have replacements.

      Saric is the best move now. Oh look!— they already had him! Now keep him. He was a key part of the 8-0 team.

  8. Sports guy 2005

    Thunder are shaping up to take over the league for the next decade and a half with all the young talent + picks they are going to acquire. Also more assets in case they trade for someone big down the line.

    • Regi Green

      Maybe if their own picks end up at the top of the draft.Otherwise you’re talking about a bunch from playoff teams.They could end up anywhere from late teens to late 20s.

      • Eric Lord

        They can use some of those picks in trades to acquire impact players or to move up in a particular draft. That’s a lot of assets to have in your pocket

  9. KnickerbockerAl

    In 2022 Suns won’t be in lottery lol. They keep their pick this yr is a great thing. I wouldn’t have given that up. Listen this makes them a playoff team. And a dangerous team. Not saying they are going to West Finals. But they will beat someone they weren’t suppose to beat. I can see them as 6th seed. Ayton and Booker will have big yrs with Paul at PG. Suns didn’t give up much. Two players they were going to let walk and a pick. It’s worth it IMO. Plus with the 10th pick this yr. They can still pick up a nice talent. Even one that could help them now. Like another shooter or 3 and D wing. Or a big 4 who can play D like Achiuwa. It’s bold move but it works. Did not overpay and Chris will be hungry.

    • hiflew

      With the potential of a “double draft” in 2022, that pick (even if it is in the late teens/20s) may end up being far more valuable than the 10th pick in a crap shoot of a draft.

      • KnickerbockerAl

        Suns are a playoff team with their picks next two drafts. A very young playoff team. A pick in 2022 outside the lottery is not going to affect them much. They will be youngest team in playoffs. With great leadership in place next few yrs. If OKC took Rockets to 7 gms. What do you think this young talented Suns team can do. If I’m a Suns fan. I’m very excited right now.

    • Noel1982

      Suns have the same potential of falling into the lottery as you would argue the mavs have ! All teams are at risk of injury tanking them in the lottery you never know

      • KnickerbockerAl

        Yeah ok. So let’s not play cause we could get injured. Let’s not trade cause it could not work out. Let’s not cross the street cause we could get hit by an airplane. You sad cause of KP dude. Move on you lucked out big time with Luka. Geez lol

  10. hiflew

    No one is really offering a 21 year old PG with Paul’s skillset and experience, so they have to go with the market.

    • And don’t forget Chris Paul played with New Orleans and Monty Williams way back when. There’s familiarity there.

      • hiflew

        Good call there Gary. I always forget to account for past player/coach relationships when I am thinking about destinations. It’s one reason why I am now 80% convinced that Russell Westbrook will end up in Chicago with Billy Donovan.

    • broski

      thats a fact but this trade is amazing because okc get back kelly oubre who is a great scorer and get basically another great playmaker with ricky rubio

    • Not quite. It is confusing with all the swaps and protections but they have two this year and next, potentially three following year in 2022 if this PHX one conveys right away. Then two if Miami conveys that year 2023, three in 2024 if Houston conveys that year, one with two swap options in 2025 and finally three in 2026 if Houston conveys that year. (Houston being top 5 protected in each case)

      That is only 13 first round picks in next 6 drafts, 16 in next 7 drafts.

  11. I'm a starboy not a Dr...

    So CP3 didn’t wanna get a ring, now he’s on a suns team that is likely a 6th – 8th seed???

    • hiflew

      Well he was on an OKC team that everyone said was likely a 13th seed or worse and they ended up at 5. Phoenix will be good this year. Maybe even top 4 good.

    • Sports guy 2005

      None of those top seeds out West (probably LAL, LAC, GSW, Denver/Dallas) want to meet Phoenix with Booker, CP3, and Ayton in a playoff matchup. They’re scary darkhorses.

  12. phillyballers

    Bringing backyard wrestling to OKC. I can see them getting another 1st for Rubio when they deal him.

  13. There is now fair possibility that OKC holds 5 first round picks in 2024. Amongst all the other draft picks they hold. Presumably they are going to start trading some for when they ramp up contention plans starting 2023.

    But they aren’t done collecting picks yet, folks. Whatever the records are, they are raising bar for number of first round pick rights held in the next 5/6/7 years.

  14. mcmillankmm

    Overall not bad for OKC…considering a year ago OKC would have had to package picks with Paul to move him.

    Now OKC can figure out where they stand…work on a potential sign and trade for Gallinari.

  15. Yep it is

    Liked Oubre. Not sure how this deal will work. I know Sarver is one of the worst owners in pro sports so it makes me nervous. Plus CP seems to get hurt every other year.

      • KnickerbockerAl

        You really should tell us all what your issue with CP3 is lol. I’m sure you will feel much better. When you just let it all out. We are good listeners. Stop the Hate and share the love.

  16. It’s a good deal for both teams. OKC certainly, since they’re clearly rebuilding. But the Suns did well too. They couldn’t make the deal with cap space. So, Rubio (being replaced) and Oubre (expiring) had to be included. The 1st was likely the only deal term negotiated (and maybe the add on players). OKC did well there, but the transfer of cap space is less than 30 mm, mostly in the 2nd year when OKC has little on the books. So, there was little incentive for OKC to do this without the pick. Because getting it done before the draft was more important to the Suns, I can’t be critical. James Jones, overall, continues to do the job.

    • broski

      i agree as well getting a good playmaker in rubio and a great scorer in oubre not to mention ty jerome and jalen who can give u some good minutes off the bench then the suns didnt have to give up there top 10 pick BIG W for both teams

  17. I'm a starboy not a Dr...

    If I’m the thunder I find away to get Zach Lavine without giving up Shai & Oubre…

  18. I Beg To Differ

    Feel like the Suns got robbed.

    Reminds me of the Carmelo Anthony trade to the Knicks. Dismantling the team to improve 1 area doesn’t make much sense. Giving up Oubre will be Tj Warren 2.0

      • Black Ace57

        Pretty sure the grand larceny was trading Russell to the Rockets for two firsts and 2 swaps. Now that the starts want out it’s looking like the Rockets have just made this decade’s Nets Celtics trade.

  19. Otogar

    I don’t think Phoenix will do better than OKC this year. If you compare the current Phoenix roster with lat season OKC’s, I would say the latter was better. Admittedly, Booker is by far the best player of those two rosters, but then you have basically him and Ayton (which hasn’t shown that much yet) against Shai, Gallo, Adams, Schroeder… Phoenix did very well in the bubble, but most of their opposition were already in rest-mode for the playoffs. I really cannot see them finishing higher than 6th. A 1st round exit is their likely ceiling and getting to the semis an incredible success.

    • El Don

      A R1WC exit is a huge success for PHO (most teams in fact) baby steps, baby steps!
      Unless you get a LBJ, AD or Giannis no one else would make PHO a title contender, so that is real awesome for PHO!

  20. Josip Tomic

    Hello Luke,
    Can you fix this spelling error? Please & thank you.

    “If it doesn’t change hands in 2022, it’ll be top-10 ‘proteted’ in 2023, top-eight protected in 2024, and unprotected in 2025”.

    • That’s not going to happen. This is NBA Draft time and Luke is either sleeping or working 20 hours a day writing and pumping out articles and giving us the best content on the internet. The draft is Wednesday..

      There’s no adding a c to your protected. No time for that right now. Just sit back and enjoy and read the best basketball rumors website in the world.

  21. mike.honcho

    Goes to show how good Presti is and how moneyball is best served …….. OKC has a stockpile of picks that would make even Danny Ainge blush – and still have a competent roster on the floor.

    With that massive number of picks – they can do both, build through the draft and build through trades.

    • Otogar

      Actually, if they retained Rubio, Oubre and Gallo, they could make the POs again. But probably that’s not gonna happen.

  22. inkstainedscribe

    State Farm has to do a whole new series of ads with different uni colors.

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