Chris Paul traded to Phoenix Suns, but does it really matter? originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest
The Oklahoma City Thunder are starting their youth movement in a reported blockbuster trade.
And thus, so begins the 2020 NBA draft trade reports.
The Oklahoma City Thunder and Phoenix Suns kicked off the NBA trading period in a deal that sends All-Star guard Chris Paul to the Suns, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The Phoenix Suns are finalizing a deal to acquire Oklahoma City Thunder All-Star guard Chris Paul, sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 16, 2020
The deal will reportedly send CP3 and 27-year-old small forward Abdel Nader to the Suns for rising star Kelly Oubre Jr., along with veteran Ricky Rubio, Ty Jerome, Jalen Lecque and a 2022 first-round pick.
... what a business 🙃
— Ricky Rubio (@rickyrubio9) November 16, 2020
The most intriguing part for the Suns in this trade will, of course, be the duo of Chris Paul and star Devin Booker, who is set to enter his sixth season in the league. The two playing alongside each other with a healthy Deandre Ayton down low could very well mean that Phoenix will come to play in the West this year.
It is crazy to think Chris Paul, at 35, is now going to take up 29% of the Suns’ cap space.
He will command $41 million this season and $44 million next season, a huge sum of money should CP3 suffer a serious injury.
An aging CP3; however, is still a franchise leader that will likely elevate Booker’s already stellar play, in my opinion.
During the 2019-20 season, Paul proved he’s still got it as he led the Thunder to a playoff berth, while earning an All-NBA Second Team nod.
But then the other question is: What are the Thunder going to do with all their picks!?
One could make the argument that it’s the Thunder who got the better part of the deal.
Oklahoma City now holds a total of 16 first round picks over the next six years.
That's not a typo.
Not to mention with the addition of Oubre, who only has one year left on his deal, while Rubio who has two, OKC could be looking to lock down the 6’7” forward long-term.
Oubre will turn 25 in December. He averaged 18.7 points and 6.4 rebounds last season in Phoenix.
Overall for the Thunder, they definitely are victorious in landing solid talent with less financial commitment, which could really prove to be extremely prosperous down the line with so many draft picks in the mix.
OKC has a ton of money coming off the books in the coming years and no one signed past 2023. In fact, the Thunder have seven expiring contracts this upcoming season.
Large expiring contracts for OKC
🏀Steven Adams $27.5M
🏀Danny Green $15.4M
🏀Kelly Oubre $14.4M
— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) November 16, 2020
Whether it’s immediate help or looking into the future, these two Western Conference opponents are going to make for some tough match-ups for the Trail Blazers.
Lest we forget, Aron Baynes is still a Phoenix Sun.
So, who won the trade?