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Phoenix Suns acquiring All-Star G Chris Paul from Oklahoma City Thunder

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul (3) averaged 17.6 points, 6.7 assists and five rebounds per game this past season. File Photo by John G. Mabanglo/EPA-EFE
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul (3) averaged 17.6 points, 6.7 assists and five rebounds per game this past season. File Photo by John G. Mabanglo/EPA-EFE

Nov. 16 (UPI) -- The Oklahoma City Thunder agreed to trade veteran point guard Chris Paul to the Phoenix Suns for a package of players and draft compensation.

League sources told ESPN and The Athletic on Monday that Phoenix will send Kelly Oubre Jr., Ricky Rubio, Ty Jerome, Jalen Lecque and a future first-round draft pick to the Thunder in exchange for Paul and Abdel Nader. The Suns' future first-rounder to Oklahoma City is protected 1-12 in 2022, 1-10 in 2023, 1-8 in 2024 and unprotected in 2025.

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Once the trade is finalized, the 35-year-old Paul will reunite with Suns head coach Monty Williams, who coached the future Hall of Fame guard for one season (2010-11) in New Orleans. The team posted a 46-36 record that season and lost in the opening round of the playoffs.

The addition of Paul will give the Suns a proven leader and running mate alongside superstar guard Devin Booker. Behind Booker, the Suns finished last season by going 8-0 in the NBA bubble but failed to qualify for the postseason.

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The Thunder initially acquired Paul last summer from the Houston Rockets in exchange for Russell Westbrook, two future first-round selections and two pick swaps. By adding another future first-rounder, general manager Sam Presti and the Thunder will increase their haul for Westbrook to three firsts, in addition to the pick swaps.

Paul, a 10-time All-Star selection, had a resurgent season during his one-year stint in Oklahoma City, guiding the Thunder's young roster to a playoff berth. He was selected to the All-Star Game for the first time since 2016 and was named to an All-NBA team for the first time in four years.

Paul, who has been plagued by injuries at various times in his NBA career, only missed one game this past season as he mourned the death of his close friend and basketball legend Kobe Bryant.

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In 70 games, Paul averaged 17.6 points, 6.7 assists and five rebounds per game. He also led the league in clutch-time scoring, which played a large part in the Thunder grabbing the No. 5 seed in the Western Conference.

After the deal is completed, Presti and the Thunder will have as many as 17 future first-round picks between the 2020 and 2026 drafts.

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