Never a dull moment in the NBA. Chris Paul has been traded to Phoenix. Thoughts?? And rumor has it, the Beard wants to play for Brooklyn or Philly.
In return for Paul and forward Abdel Nader, the Thunder received Kelly Oubre Jr., Ricky Rubio, Ty Jerome, Jalen Lecque and a 2022 first-round pick from the Suns. The Suns are set to become a factor in the Western Conference this season.
“We are excited to welcome Chris Paul and Abdel Nader to Phoenix,” Suns general manager James Jones said in a statement. “Chris’ leadership and competitive approach to the game will have an immeasurable impact on our team. Abdel possesses all the traits on and off the court that will complement our culture.”
Paul, 35, reunites with Suns coach Monty Williams, who coached the point guard for one season (2010-11) in New Orleans. The team went 46-36 that season and lost in the first round of the playoffs. “His basketball mind,” Paul said of Williams in December, “I used to get so excited before games about the plays he was drawing up.”
Chris Paul has been the central figure in several blockbuster trades during his NBA career, including one that was vetoed by the league.
2020: Traded to Suns for four players and first-round pick (incl. Ricky Rubio, Kelly Oubre)
2019: Traded to Thunder with two first-round picks for Russell Westbrook
2017: Traded to Rockets for seven players and first-round pick (incl. Patrick Beverley, Montrezl Harrell, Lou Williams)
2011: Traded to Clippers for Eric Gordon, Chris Kaman, Al-Farouq Aminu and first-round pick
2011*: Traded to Lakers in three-team deal involving Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom, Kevin Martin, Luis Scola
For the Thunder, the move is part of the repositioning and rebuilding plan that was set into action after George was dealt to the LA Clippers, which resulted in Westbrook’s moving to the Rockets. After agreeing to deal guard Dennis Schroder to the Los Angeles Lakers for a first-rounder, the Thunder have as many as 17 future first-round picks between the 2020 and 2026 drafts.
Harden considers reunion with Kevin Durant
While The Athletic has reported that the Rockets are fine going into the 2020-21 season with Harden still on their roster, that hasn’t stopped reports from also leaking saying Harden sees Brooklyn and Philadelphia as desired trade destinations. With the Nets, Harden would reunite with former teammate Kevin Durant and join Kyrie Irving, while with the 76ers, it’d be former Houston general manager Daryl Morey trading for Harden after joining the Philadelphia front office.
Rumors of a Harden deal have been coupled with reports that the Rockets could be looking to trade star point guard Russell Westbrook away, too. The NBA season is scheduled to begin Dec. 22, so there’s not tons of time for new Houston GM Rafael Stone to get a deal or two done.
Rumor: The idea of playing with Kyrie Irving and Durant, who paired with Harden in Oklahoma City from 2009-2012, is “resonating” with Harden. Trade discussions haven’t been opened between Houston and Brooklyn as of Nov. 15.