Dissecting the Chris Paul Trade

Dissecting the Chris Paul Trade

by November 17, 2020 0 comments

On noon Monday, the NBA began the offseason as they allowed teams to start processing trades. Before Monday, the Oklahoma City Thunder had been shopping all-star Chris Paul and found a potential suitor in Phoenix. 

Although before Monday, the teams had yet to agree on a trade. Oklahoma City and the Phoenix Suns agreed to a deal within an hour of the offseason. The trade sends guard Paul and forward Abdel Nader to the Suns in exchange for Kelly Oubre, Ricky Rubio, Ty Jerome, Jalen Lecque, and a 2022 first-round pick. 

Oklahoma City Rebuilds

The Thunder have been trying to rebuild their team since they traded away both Paul George and Russell Westbrook. Sam Presti, the basketball executive who is the head of basketball operations received a bountiful of first-round picks from the Westbrook and George trades. In the Westbrook trade, they received Paul, who was thought to be flipped before the start of the 2019-2020 season. 

The team was unable to move his large contract until this off-season, as Paul’s value was very diminished due to his $40 million contract. After having another all-star caliber season and leading a very young Thunder team to the playoffs, his value skyrocketed. 

The Paul trade benefited this Thunder team as they are now giving the keys to the franchise to Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. The team received more young pieces in 25-year-old Oubre, rookies Jerome and Lecque. Oubre is a very valuable piece, as the team could look into flipping Oubre for more assets if they believe he will not be a part of the rebuild. 

The Thunder after this trade now has accumulated 17 first-round picks for the next seven years. Sam Presti, is now living the same reality the mid-2010 Boston Celtics had after their deal with Brooklyn. This trade helps the process of a total rebuild, as now the team only has to move Steven Adams‘s large contract. Although it is not a glaring deed, one that could receive more future assets. 

Phoenix Suns acquired another Star

The Suns have finally found a premiere point guard to help their younger core in Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton. Paul is a future hall of fame floor general that excels in running a pick and roll offense. Famous for his lob city days in Los Angeles, Paul and Ayton could become the next John Stockton and Karl Malone. Ayton finally has a floor general who can micro manage the offense. Paul allows Booker to become freer as opposing defenses do not have crowd Booker anymore.

Although the Suns gave up a first-round pick and a valuable player in Oubre, the team is looking for their first playoff appearance in over a decade. The trade was a win now move made by the team to keep Booker happy. And if Paul continues his masterful play into next season, the Suns will finally become a threat in the West.

Paul has one year left on his contract. Attached to the contract is a player option for the 2021-2022 season in which he will earn 44 million. This will constrict the Suns from adding more premiere talent to their roster for the next two seasons. What the Suns will have to do is find role players who are worth around the veteran minimum or find players that are coming off a bad season or injuries that are looking to revitalize their career. These moves will make or break the Paul trade, if the team cannot reach the playoffs the trade will be yet another bust.

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Main Credit Image: Embed from Getty Images

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