Phoenix Suns’ 5 best trades: Chris Paul arrives

Chris Paul, Phoenix Suns (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
Chris Paul, Phoenix Suns (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images) /
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Phoenix Suns third-best trade acquisition, Chris Paul.
Phoenix Suns, Chris Paul (Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Phoenix Suns’ No. 3 best trade happened last November, when the franchise acquired Chris Paul from the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Chris Paul has proved he’s not too far removed from his prime, he’s leading with all the knowledge and intensity gained from a Hall of Fame-worthy career and his basketball IQ is off the charts.

In return for Paul and forward Abdel Nader, the Thunder received Kelly Oubre Jr., Ricky Rubio, Ty Jerome, Jalen Lecque and a 2022 first-round pick from the Suns.

Ricky Rubio was a big step up for the Suns as the team continued trying to find the answer at point guard. Rubio is every bit an NBA pro and knows the game inside and out, but …

Have you seen Chris Paul conduct a basketball symphony? We’re talking this season alone! OK, so we have enjoyed seeing what Paul can do for a developing — and peripherally contending — mix of players.

At the time Suns general manager James Jones said in a statement: “Chris’ leadership and competitive approach to the game will have an immeasurable impact on our team.”

Among the key traits Paul has flashed during his time in Phoenix:

Classic point-guard instincts and the ability to control an offense undeniably.

Taking the proper tone with Devin Booker, treating him as a student and also as a priceless piece of the Suns puzzle — recently adding that it was mainly because of Booker that Paul sought to join Phoenix.

The eager, and immediate, role in coaching and cajoling the team’s youngsters — especially Deandre Ayton.

Time will tell just how big this trade turns out to be, but the early returns are nothing short of sensational.