Their impressive performance in the Orlando bubble made some people believe that Devin Booker and the Phoenix Suns are finally ready to make a huge noise in the NBA next year. However, in order to have a realistic chance of fully dominating the loaded Western Conference and winning the championship, the Suns must surround Booker with more star power this offseason. In the past few months, they have already been linked to several big names who are expected to be available on the trading block, including veteran point guard Chris Paul of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Days before the NBA lifts the moratorium on trades, rumors have spread about the Suns' interest in pairing Booker with Paul next season. According to Brian Windhorst and Tim Bontemps of ESPN, the Suns have engaged in negotiation with the Thunder regarding a trade that would send CP3 to Phoenix.
"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 have continued to gather traction, but there is no deal imminent, sources said. There is currently a moratorium on trades as the NBA goes through procedures to start next season ahead of the league's draft next week."
Trading for Paul would make a lot of sense for the Suns. He would give them a clear upgrade over Ricky Rubio at the point guard position. Though he's five years older, Paul is a much better scorer, playmaker, and perimeter defender than Rubio. Last season, he averaged 17.6 points, 5.0 rebounds, 6.7 assists, and 1.6 steals while shooting 48.9 percent from the field and 36.5 percent from beyond the arc, per ESPN.
What makes him a more intriguing addition to the Suns is his ability to communicate with young players. His arrival wouldn't only boost their chances of ending their playoff drought, but he could also help instill a winning culture in Phoenix.
Despite his contribution to the team's success last season, there's indeed a strong possibility that CP3 would be traded this offseason. With the Thunder expected to focus on the development of their young players, keeping an aging star like Paul no longer makes sense. However, the Thunder aren't expected to trade him just for the sake of dumping his massive salary. In the potential deal with the Suns, the Thunder would likely demand a package that includes a young player and/or a future first-round pick.