Report: Phoenix, Oklahoma City talking Chris Paul trade

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Oklahoma City is ready to move into a rebuilding phase, and that means a Chris Paul trade.

Phoenix wants to make a leap up into playoff contention in a ridiculously deep Western Conference, but to do that they could use more talent and a scoring threat point guard to put next to Devin Booker.

Which has Oklahoma City and Phoenix talking Chris Paul trade, something Brian Windhorst and Tim MacMahon reported at ESPN.

The Phoenix Suns have had discussions about acquiring All-Star point guard Chris Paul from the Oklahoma City Thunder, sources told ESPN. Talks have been ongoing and continued to gather traction but there is no deal imminent, sources said.

The deal could work with something like CP3 to Phoenix for Ricky Rubio, Kelly Oubre Jr., and filler (Frank Kaminsky and a future pick?).

For the Suns, they would have one of the better backcourts in the NBA with Paul and Booker (if CP3 can stay healthy), plus Paul and his lobs would likely help the offensive game of Deandre Ayton by getting him the rock in good positions to score. What they take on is something owner Robert Sarver has balked at in the past — a big contract that could push them into the tax. Chris Paul has two years, $85.6 million on his contract (while the second year of that is a player option, if you think he’s not picking up the $44.2 million, then you probably believe Tupac and Elvis are hanging out together on a secret island).

For Oklahoma City, they get off Chris Paul’s contract but would have to love Oubre or someone else young on that roster (Mikal Bridges or Cameron Johnson), or the pick would have to be enough of a quality first rounder that OKC wants it.

This leak also could be Sam Presti and Oklahoma City — one of the masters of the smokescreen — looking to put pressure on other reported Chris Paul trade partners such as the Lakers, Clippers, and Knicks.

Expect a lot more Chris Paul rumors to be flying around before the draft, and maybe into free agency. If Oklahoma City wants to get a deal done they can, the question is just how much can they get back for such a burdensome contract.