- Chris Paul is the main topic in talks between the Phoenix Suns and the Oklahoma City Thunder.
- The team from Arizona would like to acquire the veteran, for various reasons.
- OKC wants to redirect the money from Paul’s contract towards other players on the roster.
Suns After Paul
The Phoenix Suns are trying to land one of the best point guards in the last two decades, Chris Paul, in Arizona. Right now, they are in talks with the Oklahoma City Thunder regarding the veteran playmaker, who are reportedly open to making an arrangement.
“The Phoenix Suns have had discussions about acquiring Chris Paul from the OKC Thunder, sources tell me & Tim Bontemps. Story forthcoming,” NBA insider Brian Windhorst wrote on his Twitter account.
Suns have the 10th pick from this year’s draft and several other players in the trade block, plus future picks. The Thunder needs to get rid of Paul’s colossal contract, which puts pressure on the team’s salary cap, and it seems that this might be a win-win situation for both sides.
Phoenix ended the NBA bubble in Orlando without a single loss, posting 8 straight victories, suggesting that they are no longer one of the weakest teams in the conference, but a potential playoff contender. With Chris Paul in the lineup, that would be realistic, adding that the Suns already have Devin Booker, DeAndre Ayton, and Kelly Oubre Jr.
With Paul, besides all these guys, Phoenix would have solid prospects of reaching that 8th place in the West. There are additional reasons why Suns want to have him.
The first is his relationship with head coach Monty Williams. The two worked in 2010 and 2011 in New Orleans, and know one another’s system very well. Along with that, Paul has a reputation of being a very good mentor, which would come in extremely handy to the Suns’ young team. They have several young guys who need bits of advice and some guidelines while on the court, and Paul is excellent in that role, as we all saw in OKC.
Thunder Thinking About the Future
Although everyone in Oklahoma City adores Paul, the situation is simply forcing the Thunder to part ways with their point guard. He has near $85.5 million on the contract over the next two years, and that is not acceptable for OKC.
Their youngsters developed into very good players, and some are nearing the end of their deals. Thunder needs to react and arrange long-term contracts with them to secure its future. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is their top priority, after having a breakthrough year, mostly because of Paul and his tutoring.
Also, it appears that OKC aims to make a blockbusting move this summers, having in mind their trade assets and a salary cap projection with Paul out of the picture.
They are loaded with picks for the next few drafts, earned after several trades made in the past, which puts them in an excellent position to make deals.