PHOENIX SUNS

Brian Windhorst: Chris Paul has interest in playing for Phoenix Suns

Nov 11, 2020, 12:28 PM | Updated: 1:21 pm
Oklahoma City Thunder's Chris Paul (3) drives against the Houston Rockets during the third quarter ...

Oklahoma City Thunder's Chris Paul (3) drives against the Houston Rockets during the third quarter of Game 3 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Saturday, Aug. 22, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Mike Ehrmann/Pool Photo via AP)

(Mike Ehrmann/Pool Photo via AP)

Most of Valley sports fans woke up to quite the rumor regarding Chris Paul and the Phoenix Suns.

Tuesday night, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst and Tom Bontemps reported that the Suns held discussions with the Oklahoma City Thunder about acquiring the All-NBA point guard once the new league year starts.

Windhorst on Wednesday joined Arizona Sports’ Bickley & Marotta to elaborate on the recent rumblings.

“This is a three-sided trade. This is just as much about the Suns having discussions with Chris Paul as it is with the Thunder,” Windhorst said. “From what I understand, the Suns have been given permission to communicate with Chris Paul and before they get into conversations, they’ve talked about trade pieces, but it’s gotta be Chris Paul that goes to the Thunder and says, ‘Phoenix is where I want to be. Let’s try to make a deal.’

“I know Chris Paul has interest in the Suns. It’s a matter of whether he basically says this is where I want to go and that’s probably up to Phoenix and Chris to work that out.”

Paul enters the new year after an All-NBA season in which he led OKC to the playoffs. He averaged 17.6 points and 6.7 assists per game, and was named to the All-Star team for the first time since 2016.

One of the biggest snags that has been brought up is Paul’s price tag. He has two years left on his deal, making $41.4 million rounding up next season and has a $44.2 million player option for the year after. In order for the Suns to swing a trade for the point guard, players like Kelly Oubre Jr. and Ricky Rubio could be the odd men out.

However, Arizona Sports’ John Gambadoro has learned the Thunder do not want any multi-year contracts in return and have no real interest in either Oubre or Rubio.

But even with the cap situation and the prospect that Oubre Jr. and Rubio could be shipped out of town, Windhorst thinks the acquisition certainly outweighs the losses.

Especially if the new addition keeps guard Devin Booker happy as the team looks to return to the playoffs for the first time in a decade.

“What I do know is this, for the Suns to potentially make a deal for an All-NBA player without knee capping themselves with the salary cap — It’s an expensive contract but where their cap is they can afford it quite frankly,” Windhorst said. “And the other thing is they’ve got to send a message to Devin Booker that they’re serious about upgrading the talent. That clock is ticking, no matter what anybody says, that clock is ticking.

“Then you come to the functional reality that this is a young roster that needs a strong voice. … Chris Paul commands the locker room, commands the huddle, he commands the floor, he commands the bus, he commands the plane, everything. He’s all encompassing.”

Penguin Air

Phoenix Suns

Bill Russell, left, star of the Boston Celtics is congratulated by coach Arnold "Red" Auerbach afte...
Kevin Zimmerman

NBA retires No. 6 jerseys, to add jersey patch honoring late Bill Russell

Bill Russell's No. 6 jersey is the first to be retired across the NBA. Players will wear the patch on the shoulders this year.
3 days ago
Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns reacts during the first half of Game One of the Western Confere...
Kevin Zimmerman

ESPN’s NBA staff still mighty high on 2022-23 Phoenix Suns

If you were wondering why the Suns have attacked the offseason with tinkering, it might be time to remember the past two full seasons.
4 days ago
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) is tackled by Philadelphia Eagles safety Marc...
Arizona Sports

Larry Fitzgerald, Pedro Gomez in 2022 Arizona Sports Hall of Fame class

Arizona Cardinals legend Larry Fitzgerald and late journalist Pedro Gomez are among the 2022 class entering the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame.
4 days ago
Kevin Durant attends "NYC Point Gods" premiere at Midnight Theatre on July 26, 2022 in New York Cit...
Dan Bickley

Kevin Durant’s exit could get messy for Nets, maybe Suns, too

By my calculations, there is only one way Durant lands in Phoenix. There must be a second act of petulance even worse than the first.
5 days ago
Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets drives to the basket as Chris Paul #3 of the Phoenix Suns defe...
Arizona Sports

Report: Kevin Durant tells Nets owner to pick him or coach, GM

Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant reportedly met with team owner Joe Tsai in London on Saturday and reiterated his trade request.
6 days ago
Deandre Ayton #22 of the Phoenix Suns warms up before the game against the Sacramento Kings at Gold...
Sam Graveline

ESPN’s Pelton gives Phoenix Suns ‘C+’ offseason grade

Despite the Phoenix Suns being among the few teams to dominate the offseason news cycle, ESPN's Kevin Pelton gave them a C+ grade.
6 days ago
Brian Windhorst: Chris Paul has interest in playing for Phoenix Suns