There are a lot of Chris Paul trade rumors — and wishful thinking by fans about trades — flying around. However, the rumor of a Paul to Phoenix trade is picking up a lot of steam.
Brian Windhorst of ESPN, who helped break the story, went on The Drive with Jody Oehler on Fox Sports 910 Phoenix and had this to say about the trade:
“It’s really the Suns and Chris Paul who have to work it out with each other. The Thunder have given Chris Paul permission to talk to the Suns. It normally would be tampering, but they’ve given him permission…
“I think it’s over 50-50… I think there’s momentum towards it…
“I think Chris Paul is interested in being a Phoenix Sun, and that is not a minor statement.”
That Chris Paul and his agent are talking to Phoenix is a sign this is fairly far along.
On the court this makes a lot of sense for Phoenix, CP3 and Devin Booker would be one of the better backcourts in the NBA, both can play with or off the ball, and Paul helps cover Booker on defense. Off the court, the question becomes money and ownership’s willingness to pay: Paul has two years, $85.6 million on his contract (while the second year of that is a player option, he will be picking it up). OKC wants off that contract and it wants young players or picks to help with a rebuild, which might mean a player such as Kelly Oubre makes sense (along with a pick or two).
The sides talking and a deal getting done and approved all the way up two ownership are two very different things, but there is some buzz this is coming together. Leaking all this may also light a fire under the other teams — Lakers and Knicks among them — rumored to be interested in CP3.
Expect a lot more rumors until the trade moratorium opens, likely next Monday.