The Phoenix Suns are interested in Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Chris Paul — but is Chris Paul interested in Phoenix?
An NBA player typically doesn’t have a say in where a team can trade him. Sometimes, though, there are exceptions. The Oklahoma City Thunder is a transparent organization — at least when it comes to the stars.
In the past, they’ve listened to input from players such as Paul George and Russell Westbrook when it came to making trades. Last summer, George revealed he wasn’t satisfied with his progress in OKC, so the Thunder worked out a trade to send him to the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Thunder reportedly did something similar with Westbrook as they worked together with the All-Star to send him packing to Houston to join the Rockets. The Thunder received Chris Paul in exchange for Westbrook and had a surprisingly successful 2019-2020 run.
Paul, who showed signs of a decline in previous seasons, started in 70 games, averaging 17 points, 6.7 assists, and drained nearly 50-percent of his shots from the field in OKC. Many believed Paul would fail with the Thunder, but he ended up proving the doubters wrong.
While Paul would’ve likely considered the Thunder as a long-term fit in different times, it’s clear the organization is headed towards a re-build, becoming a not-so-hot spot for an aging point guard who’s ready to compete for a title now.
This offseason, the Thunder are expected to work with Paul while negotiating with potential trade suitors. And recently, the Phoenix Suns have reportedly emerged as one of his top suitors, according to a report from ESPN.
“Talks have been ongoing and continued to gather traction, but there is no deal imminent, sources said. There is currently a moratorium on trades as the NBA goes through procedures to start next season ahead of the league’s draft next week.”
It shouldn’t come as a surprise the young, up and coming Suns could use a player like Paul to come in and help give them a boost immediately. Would Paul embrace going to a young team like Phoenix, who hasn’t made the playoffs since 2009, though?
Right now, it seems unlikely. While Devin Booker’s emergence has been exciting, and the Suns’ 8-0 run down in Orlando this past summer was impressive; it’s hard to believe Phoenix becomes immediate championship contenders with the addition of Paul.
Plus, reports last week have made it known that Paul prefers his next playing destination to be in Los Angeles or New York. Considering the New York Knicks and the Los Angeles Lakers already have reported interest in the veteran guard, it seems more likely Paul ends up with one of those two squads rather than the inquiring Suns.
Justin Grasso covers the NBA for The Sports Daily. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_