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Phoenix Suns land Chris Paul from OKC in six-player deal

THE Phoenix Suns acquired star guard Chris Paul from Oklahoma City (OKC) in a six-player trade, the Thunder announced Monday.

Paul and forward Abdel Nader are headed to the Suns in exchange for forward Kelly Oubre Jr., guards Ricky Rubio, Ty Jerome and Jalen Lecque and a 2022 first-round pick.

The deal pairs Paul with Suns phenom Devin Booker in the Phoenix backcourt. Paul is a 10-time All Star, nine-time All-NBA selection and the 2005-06 Rookie of the Year. The 35-year-old veteran brings his career averages of 18.5 points per game and 9.5 assists per game to Phoenix after one season in Oklahoma City.

Paul led the Thunder (44-28) to the postseason in the pandemic-shortened 2019-20 season before they lost a first-round playoff series to the Houston Rockets in seven games. The Wake Forest product averaged 21.3 points, 7.4 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 1.6 steals in the series.

Paul has been a model of consistency, averaging 18.7 points per game in six seasons in New Orleans (2005-11), 18.8 points in six seasons with the Los Angeles Clippers (2011-17) and 17.1 points in two seasons with the Houston Rockets (2017-19). He finished at 17.6 points and 6.7 assists per game last season with the Thunder.

Paul has averaged 9.5 assists per game over 1,020 career games to go with 4.5 rebounds and 2.2 steals.

Booker finished ninth in the league in scoring last season at 26.6 points per game, matching his career-best output from 2018-19.

The Thunder get the dynamic Oubre, who averaged a career-best 18.7 points per game last season, and veteran point guard Rubio, who doled out 8.77 assists per game last season, fourth best in the NBA, in his first year in Phoenix. The 30-year-old has averaged 11.3 points and 7.8 assists for his career.

Jerome, 23, played in 31 games last season as a rookie, averaging 3.3 points. Lecque, a 20-year-old rookie, played in just five games, averaging 2.0 points per game.

Nader, 27, is a third-year player who appeared in 55 games (six starts) last season for Oklahoma City, averaging 6.3 points per game. — Reuters

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