After being mentioned in trade rumors for weeks, Chris Paul is about to be dealt by the Oklahoma City Thunder. The point guard is headed to the Phoenix Suns, who are now in a position to contend for the 2021 NBA playoffs.

Oklahoma City has agreed to send Paul and Abdel Nader to Phoenix for Kelly Oubre, Ricky Rubio, Ty Jerome, Jalen Lecque and a 2022 first-round draft pick, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports. Phoenix adds a star veteran to a roster that includes some of the league’s most talented young players.

Devin Booker made his first All-Star team in 2020, and he could be on the verge of superstardom. The 24-year-old led the Suns with 26.6 points per game while shooting 48.9% from the field. 

Booker was one of the best players in the NBA’s restart in Orlando, Florida. He was an All-Seeding Games First Team selection, averaging 30.5 points and 6.0 assists in Phoenix’s eight games in the league’s bubble. The Suns were a perfect 8-0 in the NBA bubble, just missing the postseason.

Booker pushed the organization to trade for Paul, according to Wojnarowski. 

 

 

 

Phoenix selected Deandre Ayton with the No.1 overall draft pick just two years ago. Ayton took a step forward in his second season, averaging 18.2 points, 11.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in 38 contests.

Forward Mikal Bridges showed promise in his second season, averaging 9.1 points and 4.0 rebounds per game. Rookie Cameron Johnson averaged 8.8 points and shot 39% from three-point range.

Aron Baynes and Dario Saric can both become free agents after playing key roles in Pheonix’s rotation.

The Suns had a 34-39 record last season, failing to make the playoffs for the 10th straight year. Paul could very well snap that streak, considering his history of playing on winning teams.

Paul has led his team to the playoffs in 10 straight years. The 35-year-old has played with three different teams in the postseason over the last four years.

When the Houston Rockets traded Paul to the Thunder last offseason, Oklahoma City was expected to finish near the bottom of the Western Conference standings. The Thunder overachieved with a 44-28 record and the West’s No.5 seed

Paul remains one of the NBA’s best players. The point guard became an All-Star for the 10th time in his career and finished seventh in the 2020 NBA MVP voting.

Chris Paul Oklahoma City Thunder Chris Paul #3 of the Oklahoma City Thunder shoots a free throw against the Phoenix Suns at The Field House at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on August 10, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Photo: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images