Phoenix…. what have you done? Why did you trade for one of the worst contracts in the league? Is it because you went 8-0 in the NBA bubble? These are some questions I had when I saw the CP3 trade. For reference:
Suns receive: Chris Paul
Thunder receive: Kelly Oubre Jr, Ricky Rubio, Ty Jerome, Jalen Lecque, 2022 1st Round pick. (Per Woj)
The Suns did go 8-0 in the bubble. That’s not saying a lot. That’s like going undefeated in the summer league. Phoenix, you are not contenders. You beat a bunch of teams that had players who were sitting around for 5 months. And now you just traded a good point guard, a good small forward, a first-round pick, AND two solid bench pieces. Chris Paul is good, but is he worth all that? NO. The Suns overreacted to a small (and also not super reliable) sample size. This team could make the playoffs, sure, but in the ultra-competitive Western conference, anything more is unlikely.
The Lakers, Clippers, Nuggets, Warriors are all pretty much guaranteed playoff teams. That leaves four spots. These spots could be taken by as many as 8 teams. Every team in the West could make it except for the Thunder and the Rockets, both of whom will be gutting their rosters this offseason. The Thunder were smart. They now have 16 first-round picks over the next 7 years. Once the West gets a little more open, after Steph Curry, LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, and Damian Lillard are all gone, the Thunder will have built a team with great pieces. This Suns pick could realistically turn into Chet Holmgren or Emoni Bates. This trade could define the NBA for years to come. The Thunder win this trade by a good deal.
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