The Phoenix Suns made a blockbuster trade Monday, acquiring Chris Paul and Abdel Nader from the Oklahoma City Thunder for Ricky Rubio, Kelly Oubre Jr, Ty Jerome, Jalen Lecque, and a 2022 first-round draft pick. What does this trade do for the Suns and Thunder? Let’s dive in and find out.
During the NBA Bubble this year, the Suns shocked the world going 8-0 and missing the playoffs by one game. Their performance in the bubble proved that they could be a playoff contender. By acquiring Chris Paul, the Suns have made a win-now move that shows their star, Devin Booker, and free agents that they are serious about winning and contending. Adding Paul gives the Suns more opportunities with free agency as they become a more desirable destination.
Paul is coming off a great season, being named an All-NBA second-team nominee and took a young core with the Oklahoma City Thunder to the playoffs as the No. 5 seed. He averaged 17.6 points and 6.7 assists per game while shooting over 48 percent from the field.
The Suns have not made the playoffs since 2010. Last season, Deandre Ayton has suspended for the first 25 games of the season for a failed drug test, and they ended being one game short of the playoffs. Paul is a near-perfect fit to pair with Booker, and it will increase his production, especially off the ball.
Chris Paul is one of the best passers of this generation and does a great job of spreading the floor, opening up opportunities off the ball for his teammates. Booker is a great shooter off the ball and I expect an increase in his opportunities and scoring from off the ball with the addition of Paul. With this addition of Paul, the Suns are in great shape to make the playoffs for the first time in over a decade.
For the Thunder, they add another young piece to add to the core that is led by guards Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Luguentz Dort. Oubre is 24 years old and is a free agent after this upcoming season and the Thunder could look to lock him up for years to come.
With the Schroder and Paul trades, the Thunder now have 17 first-round draft picks from now until 2027. The Thunder continue to add to their draft capital and the future is extremely bright with these picks, whether they use them or package some to land a high pick.
The Thunder continue to retool and reshape their team as they continue to boost opportunities for their future. This is a win-win trade. Both teams benefit from this trade as the Suns boost their roster as they look to become contenders, while the Thunder continue to stock up on draft capital and look towards the future.