NBA Trade Grades: Suns make their move, go all in for Chris Paul

Chris Paul Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Chris Paul Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images /

The Phoenix Suns have decided to chase the playoffs and trade for Chris Paul.

The Phoenix Suns needed a big splash to get back into the playoffs for the first time in years, and they finally managed to pull one off by swinging a trade for Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul.

Paul and Abdel Nader will head to Phoenix in a deal that will send four players and a 2022 first-round pick to Sam Presti and the Thunder.

Who won the Chris Paul trade?

Oklahoma City Thunder

The Thunder were able to net Ricky Rubio, Kelly Oubre, Ty Jerome, and Jalen Lecque back in the deal. Oubre is fresh off scoring 18.7 points per game, a career-best, last year, and he could be the team’s leading scorer after the Dennis Schroder deal. Rubio is starting to get a little long in the tooth, but he remains a solid distributor. Getting yet another first-round pick should help Sam Presti rebuild this team through the draft, where he has constantly proven he knows what he is doing.

Even though Jerome was picked in the first round last year and Lecque had some promise, neither player is expected to establish themselves as a star. While they were able to get two potential starters in this deal and two developmental projects, neither Oubre nor Rubio will move the needle much, and the rebuilding Thunder might’ve been able to get a slightly better deal if they traded Paul to a contender. The biggest asset OKC got here might be the first-rounder.

Grade: B

Phoenix Suns

The Suns have needed a point guard for the last half-decade, and they finally got their man in Paul, who is owed an obscene amount of money over the next few seasons. With Paul running the show, one of the most lethal scorers in the game in Devin Booker lining up on the wing, and DeAndre Ayton continuing to get better down low, the Suns finally have some direction, a deep roster, and the coaching to make everything gel.

Time will tell if this move will get the Suns into the postseason, but this is the first time in what feels like forever that the Suns are actually making an effort to compete in what is becoming an extraordinarily deep Western Conference. The only thing that prevents this from getting a higher mark is the financial burden Phoenix is undertaking.

Grade: A-

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