All-Star guard Chris Paul sent to Suns in blockbuster trade

Chris Paul of the Oklahoma City Thunder dunks during the first half of the NBA All-Star game Feb. 16 in Chicago.

All-Star guard Chris Paul is being traded from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Phoenix Suns, where he'll play alongside one of the league's most dynamic young scorers in fellow All-Star Devin Booker, a person with knowledge of the situation said Monday.

The Thunder are acquiring Ricky Rubio, Kelly Oubre, Jalen Lecque, Ty Jerome and a first-round pick that will be conveyed sometime between 2022 and 2025, said the person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the trade had not been finalized by the league.

Rubio reacted to the trade news with a tweet: “... what a business," he wrote.

It is a huge leap for the Suns, who went 8-0 inside the NBA's restart bubble at Walt Disney World in a frantic, but futile, quest to make the playoffs. Paul is owed about $41 million for this season and has a $44 million player option for next season, which was too much of an impediment for other teams that considered acquiring him last summer.

The Suns, however, deemed it worth the risk. They haven't made the playoffs since a run to the Western Conference finals in 2010.

ESPN and The Athletic first reported details of the trade.

It’s the second trade that the Thunder agreed to in a span of two days, the first coming Sunday when they agreed to send Dennis Schroder to the Los Angeles Lakers for Danny Green and the 28th pick in Wednesday’s draft. That transaction will be completed after the draft, a person with knowledge of those particulars told AP.

That trade, along with the deal agreed to on Monday, could give the Thunder as many as 17 first-round picks in the next seven drafts.

Paul was an All-Star for the 10th time this past season, averaging 17.6 points and 6.7 assists. Phoenix becomes his fourth team in less than four years; he was with the Los Angeles Clippers through the 2016-17 season, then spent two years in Houston, then last year with the Thunder after being acquired as part of the trade that sent Russell Westbrook to the Rockets.

Paul is also president of the National Basketball Players Association. The trade reunites him with Suns coach Monty Williams; Paul played for Williams in 2010-11 when Williams was in his first season coaching the New Orleans Hornets.

“Man, I’m 35 years old and I still get a chance to play basketball every day and say that’s my way of life,” Paul said last week, when asked about trade rumors during an appearance in the Time100 speakers' series. “That is crazy in itself so regardless what happens, I’ll be ready.”

Oubre averaged a career-high 18.7 points last season. Rubio is entering his 10th NBA season and has also played for the Timberwolves and Jazz. He signed a three-year, $51 million deal with the Suns before last season and averaged 13 points and 8.8 assists with Phoenix.

Jerome was the 24th overall pick out of Virginia last season and played in 31 games as a rookie while averaging 3.3 points. Lecque played in five games last season.

———

AP Sports Writer David Brandt in Phoenix contributed to this report.

———

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Thank you for reading!

Please log in, or sign up for a new account and purchase a subscription to read or post comments.