The Suns show they are serious by acquiring Chris Paul from the Thunder for the Oubre, Rubio, 2022 pick: grade the trade

Chris Paul replaced the Oklahoma City Thunder in the playoff team last season, and now he will do the same with the Phoenix Suns. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojrowski, Paul Kelly leads Phoenix in exchange for Aubrey; Ricky Rubio, Ty Jerome and Jalan Leke Guard; And a 2022 first-round pick.

The difference between Paul’s new position and his most recent is that the Sun will Be expected To make a postson. Phoenix is ​​dropping real stuff to acquire the 35-year-old future Hall of Fame, while Oklahoma City was compensated with a draft when it swapped Russell Westbrook for Paul in the summer of 2019.

Grade the business:

Sun acquires Chris Paul

At the conclusion of the 2017–18 season, in which Phoenix prevailed 21–61, guard Devin Booker told reporters that he was “done with not making the playoffs.” These predictions were not proved: the following season, under new coach Igor Kokoskov, it was reduced to 19–63.

In 2019-20, the Suns did not break much between the two, but it was the best season of Booker’s career. As Monty Williams, Booker’s fifth coach in several years, he finished 34-39 after an undefined sprint through the seeding games in Orlando. Trading for Paul shows Booker that they are serious about taking the next step.

The reverse is obvious here. Paul brings the selflessness and ability to organize the team that 30-year-old Rubio brought last season, as well as the ability to handle the game in deadly spot-up shooting and crunch time. He would aggressively pressure Booker; Regardless of who has the ball, the defense will have a difficult time when he sees Deere Ayrton in the basket and Mikel Bridges and Cameron Johnson will be on the perimeter.

Rubio Signing was not received with universal acclaim last summer, but this is what put Phoenix in position to make this upgrade. He helped the Sun jump from honorable, and his contract and age made him a natural business piece here. Aubrey would have been just fine if they had run things back, but it would have been difficult to re-sign in 2021 if they were planning to keep Bridge and Johnson for longer.

The Suns are not likely contenders with this roster. Estimates from SportsLine’s Stephen Oh gave him a 73.8 percent chance of making the playoffs, a 36.8 percent chance before the trade and an estimated record of 39-33. Phoenix is ​​betting, however, on Paul’s presence that has benefits that go beyond his pick-and-roll aptitude. Williams coached Paul in New Orleans in 2010–11 and he knows what he likes as a leader. Ideally, he would help Aten, Bridge and Johnson grow.

The downside to this deal is the opportunity cost. With a more patient approach, Sun could have improved without adding a player who would have been making $ 44.2 million in 2021-22. They can still be free agency players in this agency, provided they carry out this trade After Using their cap space, but Paul has limited their future flexibility. Instead of sacrificing first-round picks, they can advance Aubrey between now and the trade deadline. If Phoenix’s front office was solely focused on making 2023 iterations of the team as good as it could be, this move would not have happened.

As long as Paul stays healthy and plays near the level he did for the Thunder, the Sun’s immediate future is more exciting than a decade. How we will look back on this trade in a few years, however, is less clear.

Grade: A-minus

Thunder acquired first round pick of Kelly Aubrey, Ricky Rubio, Ty Jerome, Jalan Lechek, 2022

The front office of Oklahoma City has continued to win zero points, with a ridiculous amount of future pix traded by star players. When he traded Westbrook-Paul, there was initially speculation that Paul would never play for the team, and he would need some kind of sweetener to move. By keeping him around for a season, the Thunder perfectly handled the situation: He helped his young players, transported them to the playoffs and dramatically increased his trade value.

Aubrey may be a part of Oklahoma City’s core. He too could be traded again before the deadline, perhaps in exchange for another first-round pick. A versatile, 6-foot-7 player who is ahead of his best season as a scorer, shooter and defender, he is the type of player the contending player can see as his missing piece.

Rubio can run the Thunder the same way he drove the Sun, a top stopgap for a running team. He is a doubtful fit next to Shei Gilgus-Alexander, but two of them are smart enough to overcome some vacancy issues in half-clever. I personally see him throwing the alleyways for Darley Bazale.

However, for Oklahoma City, it is about maximizing a long-term future that likely will not include Rubio. He makes sense for this team because the $ 35.8 million he took for the next two seasons is less than half what Paul made. The Thunder can also see what Jerome and Lesik can give them. (I also see Jerome throwing jerk-throws for Bazale.) The reality is that, while they had a better record last season than Phoenix, they are several steps behind the Sun in their life cycle. For a team that is not yet trying to win, the two most important parts of the deal are the first-round pick and the Aubrey. This is a no-brainer for him.

grade A

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