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Thunder Trade Chris Paul to Suns in Massive Six-Player Deal

Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

By Matthew Zimmer

The Oklahoma City Thunder turned another All-Star into more assets on Monday, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Chris Paul’s lone season in OKC was enough to show the Phoenix Suns he’s still got something left in the tank.

From a leadership perspective, this move makes total sense. The 35-year-old is a proven veteran who can provide tons of guidance to a young basketball team.

From a basketball standpoint, I’m a little confused. Devin Booker is a star, and the Suns were 8-0 in the Orlando bubble.

I’m not going to say it was a sign of things to come with that Suns team as constructed. However, they traded away Kelly Oubre Jr. and Ricky Rubio, who were both more than solid last year in Phoenix.

CP3 is better than both of those players individually, but trading both (plus two more players and a 2022 first-round pick) felt like a lot considering Paul’s contract cost — $41+ million in ’20-21 and $44+ million in ’21-22.

Last year, Paul was out to prove Houston wrong for sending him to Oklahoma City.

He shot better overall from the floor (48.9 percent) in 2019 than in 2018 (41.9), and he was a better three point shooter (36.5 vs. 35.8 percent) with the Thunder.

Now CP3 joins a team hungry to prove itself as a problem in the crowded Western Conference.

Personally, I was wrong about Paul last year. Maybe he’ll prove me wrong again.

Also, it’s worth nothing that OKC has done a ridiculously good job turning All-Stars into assets. Now they have to make those assets count.

If OKC can make those picks work out, watch out. If not, then none of this information matters.

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