The Phoenix Suns today acquired point guard Chris Paul and forward Abdel Nader from the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Kelly Oubre Jr., Ricky Rubio, Ty Jerome, Jalen Lecque and a protected 2022 first-round pick.
“We are excited to welcome Chris Paul and Abdel Nader to Phoenix,” said General Manager James Jones. “Chris’ leadership and competitive approach to the game will have an immeasurable impact on our team. Abdel possesses all the traits on and off the court that will complement our culture.”
“We thank Kelly, Ricky, Ty and Jalen for their contributions to the Suns,” Jones added. “We wish each of them all the best as they continue on what we expect to be long and productive careers.”
Paul earned All-NBA Second Team honors last season, the ninth All-NBA distinction of his career including four selections to the First Team. He played in 70 of the Thunder’s 72 games, averaging 17.6 points, 6.7 assists and 5.0 rebounds to lead the team to the fifth seed in the Western Conference. Paul ranked first in the NBA in clutch-time scoring in 2019-20, guiding Oklahoma City to a league-leading 30 clutch-time wins.
“He is the kind of guy that changes organizations,” said Head Coach Monty Williams, somewhat prophetically, prior to the Suns-Thunder game on Jan. 31. “Everywhere he has gone, he has made everybody better. That is just who Chris is.”
Paul, a 10-time NBA All-Star and the 2013 All-Star Game MVP, has played in 1,020 career regular season games with New Orleans, the LA Clippers, Houston and Oklahoma City, holding career averages of 18.5 points, 9.5 assists and 2.2 steals, shooting 47.1% from the field, 37.0% from three-point and 87.0% from the free throw line. He has led his team to the playoffs in 12 of his 15 NBA seasons, including each of the past 10 years. Paul ranks seventh in NBA history in both career assists (9,653) and in career steals (2,233) with both marks being the highest among all active players.
The Winston-Salem, N.C. native is a nine-time All-Defensive selection including seven times being named to the First Team. Representing the United States men’s national team, Paul is two-time Olympic gold medalist, helping the U.S. to undefeated, first-place finishes in Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012. Originally the fourth overall pick of the 2005 NBA Draft out of Wake Forest University, Paul was the NBA Rookie of the Year in 2005-06.
The acquisition of Paul is the first time since the Suns’ deal to land Charles Barkley in 1992 that the Suns have traded for a player who was an All-NBA selection in the previous season. This is just the fourth time in Suns history they have made such a trade, also acquiring Dennis Johnson in 1980 and Truck Robinson in 1979.
Nader has played three NBA seasons with Boston and Oklahoma City, holding career averages of 4.5 points and 1.8 rebounds in 164 regular season games. He posted career bests of 6.3 points per game, 46.8% shooting from the field, 37.5% from three-point range and 77.3% from the free throw line in 55 games with the Thunder last season. The 6-5 forward was originally the 58th overall pick of the 2016 NBA Draft out of Iowa State University. A native of Alexandria, Egypt, Nader is just the second Egyptian-born player in NBA history.