The Thunder will be acquiring Ricky Rubio, Kelly Oubre, Jalen Lecque, Ty Jerome and a first-round pick sometime between 2022 and 2025, according to reports. They acquired Chris Paul in the Westbrook deal, which allowed them to remain competitive while also having their younger players learn from a future Hall of Famer. If there were a course on stockpiling first-round NBA Draft picks, Thunder general manager Sam Presti would be the instructor. After finishing last season by going 8-0 in the bubble and establishing momentum, the Suns suddenly are set to become a real factor in the Western Conference this season.
The Suns, however, deemed it worth the risk. It's the second reported trade involving a Thunder point guard in the last two days.
Enter the Phoenix Suns, with their decade-long playoff drought and an emerging squad centered on the talents of guard Devin Booker and center Deandre Ayton.
Paul - a 10-time All-Star and four-time All-NBA First Team selection - played a single season with OKC, averaging 17.6 points, 6.7 assists, 5.0 rebounds and 1.6 steals.
The Thunder entered an obvious rebuilding phase past year when they traded Russell Westbrook to the Houston Rockets and Paul George to the Los Angeles Clippers.
Paul has now been flipped for yet another first-round pick, and players in Rubio and Oubre who could be traded for additional assets. "That is insane in itself, so regardless what happens, I'll be ready". Rubio is entering his 10th National Basketball Association season. "I used to get so excited before games about the plays he was drawing up". The 10-time All-Star averaged 17.6 points and 6.7 assists last season with Oklahoma City, which was a surprise playoff contender.
Jerome was the 24th overall pick out of Virginia last season and played in 31 games as a rookie while averaging 3.3 points.