Future Hall of Fame point guard Chris Paul was dealt from the Phoenix Suns to the Washington Wizards over the weekend in the Bradley Beal blockbuster.
Things seemed to be pointing in this direction after Paul missed the end of Phoenix’ playoff run, which culminated in a second-round exit at the hands of the Denver Nuggets.
It was reported earlier in the summer that Paul was going to be waived by the Suns. While that never came to fruition, it became clear that his tenure in the desert was going to end after three seasons.
Paul, 38, said that he found out about the trade via a text from his son while he was on a plane traveling to New York City for a promotional book tour.
“I really haven’t had enough time to process it yet. Like seriously, because these things that happen affect more than just me,” Paul said.
Even more interesting than that, Paul suggested that Basketball Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas played a role in his departure from the Suns. “Like I said, Mat and Isiah, they want to go in a different direction. But my time there has been amazing,” Paul told Sopan Deb of the New York Times.
A former head coach with the Indiana Pacers and New York Knicks, Thomas is said to be close to newish Suns owner Mat Ishbia. There was actually a report earlier in the offseason that the Suns were considering Thomas to replace the recently fired Monty Williams as head coach. That didn’t come to fruition with Frank Vogel landing the gig.
Even then, these comments from Chris Paul seem to suggest that Thomas played a role in his departure from the Suns. Whether he’s upset about that remains to be seen.
Potential Chris Paul landing spots as situation plays out
A 12-time All-Star, Paul will be rerouted from the Wizards to another team. It could come in the form of a trade. With Washington set to go into full-scale rebuild mode following the trade of Beal, the veteran point guard could also be bought out.
The Los Angeles Clippers are seen as the favorites to land Paul. They are joined by the Los Angeles Lakers in contending for the services of the future first ballot Hall of Famer. Meanwhile, the Golden State Warriors were in trade talks with Phoenix for Paul before he went to D.C. in Sunday’s blockbuster.
- Chris Paul stats (career): 17.9 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 9.5 APG, 47% shooting, 37% 3-point
Despite Paul’s advanced age and recent injury history, contending teams will have interest in his services. He’s now guaranteed $30.8 million for the 2023-24 season. That could complicate things for the three teams mentioned above unless CP3 is bought out by Washington.
Either way, Chris Paul’s reaction to Sunday’s trade is somewhat surprising. Outside of the involvement of Isiah Thomas, he was supposedly in contact with the Suns’ organization before being thrown for a loop by being sent packing.