NBA Draft: Chris Paul trade could alter Suns' plans with the No. 10 pick

Tyler Byrum
·3 min read

Chris Paul trade could alter Suns' plans with the No. 10 pick originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

The Phoenix Suns were the first team to strike when the NBA trade moratorium lifted. A significant trade moved All-Star point guard Chris Paul to the Suns for a crop of role players and a future first-round pick to Oklahoma City.

Finally, this brings stability to Phoenix's backcourt, really for the first time since Eric Bledsoe was traded away in 2017. It's been publically known that the team had been looking to bring in a star point guard to pair with Devin Booker ever since. Every free agency period and trade deadline has linked the Suns to finding the right PG. 

With the uncertainty that was previously around the point guard position, and only the aging Ricky Rubio (who was a part of the trade) in that role, there were many ties to the Suns drafting a PG in the 2020 NBA Draft. This year's draft class is one of the deepest in recent years in terms of point guard prospects. As many as seven PGs could be selected in the first round, as shown in NBC Sports Washington's mock draft.

If Phoenix wanted to draft the young, point guard of their future, it is the prime opportunity to do so with the No. 10 pick. The mock had Alabama's Kira Lewis Jr. going as a result of those reasons. 

But another point guard prospect that has been rumored to be of interest to the Suns is international prospect Killian Hayes. Some evaluators, including the Ringer's Kevin O'Connor, thinks he's the best prospect of the NBA Draft. The only thing that is preventing him from firmly breaking through into the top-10 of draft projections is his age (19) and how raw he is in several key elements of the game. He has a high ceiling but Hayes is a project that will need some time before major dividends are seen on the court.

Lewis previously made more sense for the Suns. Now with Paul, the better long-term option could be Hayes given he will have several years to learn under one of the best in the game.

Paul also shouldn't be thought of as the long-term solution to the position for Phoenix. He's 35 - although still playing at a high level - with him set to be a free agent entering his age 37 season. 

It also affords the chance for the Suns to go in a different direction on draft night. Phoenix lost a good amount of their young wing shooters in the deal, moving on from Kelly Oubre Jr., Ty Jerome and Jalen Lecque. Replenishing that faction of the team could also be done with Devin Vassell, Tyrese Maxey, Aaron Nesmith or Saddiq Bey. 

The Suns obviously has their sights set on a prospect with their No. 10 pick, otherwise, it likely would have been included in the deal over the 2022 first-rounder that the Thunder acquired. 

So not only does Phoenix get better with Paul, they now have plenty of more options entering the draft on Wednesday evening.