The Phoenix Suns have had discussions about a possible Chris Paul trade, Brian Windhorst and Tim Bontemps of ESPN report. The 35-year-old has been a popular subject of trade speculation since joining the Oklahoma City Thunder last summer.
No trade is imminent considering that the league’s transaction moratorium hasn’t officially been lifted.
The largest impediment to any Paul trade is the veteran’s $41 million contract in 2020-21 but if Phoenix finds a way to incorporate such a deal, they’ll instantly provide an already promising young team with a proven difference maker.
Paul turned heads with his success guiding the Thunder to the postseason after the departures of Paul George and Russell Westbrook. It stands to reason that a Suns team that went undefeated in the bubble could make even more noise with a future Hall of Famer in the lineup.
As we wrote about in our Phoenix Suns offseason preview, the Suns can free up $18 million in cap space renouncing the rights to their free agents. That’s not necessarily the course of action they would pursue in order to nab Paul but the flexibility is there.
If the Suns decide to keep the rights to their free agents and act as a team over the cap, they would need to export $33.05 million (h/t ESPN’s Bobby Marks) in order to onboard Paul.
Ricky Rubio, Phoenix’s current point guard, will earn $17 million this season and could be a Thunder-bound option in a potential trade.
The Suns hold the No. 10 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.