First Big Trade: OKC Sends Chris Paul to Phoenix For a Big Return

After one successful season in Oklahoma City, Chris Paul will head to Phoenix.

The Thunder traded the 10x All-Star to the Suns on Monday for a rather hefty return. Phoenix will send Ricky Rubio, Kelly Oubre, Ty Jerome, Jalen Lecque, and a 2022 first-round pick to Oklahoma City for Paul and Abdel Nader, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The fact that Paul is out the door isn’t all that surprising when we consider that the Thunder have entered full-blown rebuild mode. The organization has stockpiled first-round picks and assets over the past two seasons, and the plan to transition into an entirely new era was further emphasized this offseason with the separation of current Bulls head coach Billy Donovan.

Many believed Paul would be headed to a more “legitimate” contender this offseason, with the Bucks being a popular team to throw into the conversation for months, but Paul’s finances most likely made things a bit complicated (the guard is owed $85.2 million over the next two seasons).

Now, the Suns have paired a true veteran with young stars Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton. The franchise may not be considered a true title contender just yet, but their chances of making the playoffs in a competitive Western Conference next season just went way up.

Let’s keep the trades coming!

written by

Elias Schuster is the Lead Chicago Bulls writer at Bleacher Nation. He started with BN full-time in 2019 immediately after graduating from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign with a degree in Journalism (yes, he started with the Jim Boylen Era). Since joining, Elias has been the driving force behind Bulls and NBA content for both the site and social accounts. You can follow him on Twitter/X @Schuster_Elias.

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