The first major blockbuster trade of the NBA offseason occurred on Monday, November 16th, 2020 when the Phoenix Suns acquired point guard Chris Paul as well as forward Abdel Nader from the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Oklahoma City Thunder received Kelly Oubre Jr., Ricky Rubio, Ty Jerome, Jalen Lecque, and a 2022 first round draft selection from the Phoenix Suns in this recent trade agreement.
The New Look Phoenix Suns
The Phoenix Suns made a nice splash in the NBA bubble several months ago as they finished off their 2019 – 2020 regular season by going 8 and 0. That winning streak to conclude their season definitely got the attention of other NBA franchises especially in the highly competitive Western Conference.
Now the Phoenix Suns have added the leadership and unique skill set of future Hall of Famer and one of the best point guards of his generation in Chris Paul to their roster for the upcoming 2020 – 2021 NBA season which is now scheduled to begin at the end of this December. Paul will complement the suburb talent of his new young teammates such as Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton, and Dario Saric as the Phoenix Suns are looking to win now.
The Future of the Oklahoma City Thunder
The current state of the Oklahoma City Thunder appears to be another rebuilding period in hopes to establish a competitive young team a few years down the road. They should be happy to relinquish the aging Chris Paul and his large contract in order to gain several low risk high reward role players that they picked up from this big trade.
The one thing that is most concerning for the Oklahoma City Thunder at the moment is their lack of a superstar player or a consistent scorer in the NBA that can help lead this struggling organization in the right direction. The 2020 NBA draft is set to take place on Wednesday, November 18th, 2020, but as of now the Oklahoma City Thunder currently have the 25th overall pick in the first round followed up by the 53rd overall choice in the second round. It will be tough for them without trading up in the draft order to get a big name franchise player to build their team around for the future.
“We are excited to welcome Chris Paul and Abdel Nader to Phoenix,” says the Phoenix Suns general manager, James Jones. “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.”
“His basketball mind,” Chris Paul replied in reference to head coach Monty Williams. “I used to get so excited before games about the plays he was drawing up.”
“We want to thank Chris for the contributions he has made to the Thunder and the Oklahoma City community, both this season and during his initial tenure in 2005-06 with the Hornets,” the Oklahoma City Thunder general manager, Sam Presti, stated. “Chris has been the consummate leader and has left a tremendous legacy in a short period of time. We wish him and Abdel and their families only the best moving forward. We also look forward to welcoming Ricky, Kelly, Ty and Jalen to Oklahoma City and are excited for them to join the Thunder program.”