James Jones’ 3 best trades as Phoenix Suns general manager

Phoenix Suns (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Chris Paul, Phoenix Suns. Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports
Chris Paul, Phoenix Suns. Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports /

Phoenix Suns trade Kelly Oubre Jr., Ricky Rubio, Ty Jerome, Jalen Lecque and a protected 2022 first-round pick for Chris Paul and Abdel Nader

Chris Paul may have played a crucial role in the Suns turnaround, but we can’t forget the question marks at the time of this trade. Only a year beforehand, the Houston Rockets had traded Paul and picks to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Russell Westbrook.

Most viewed Paul’s contract as untradeable before he mounted a career comeback of sorts for the Thunder in 2019-20. Having recouped his value, general manager Sam Presti sought value from the All-Star point-guard.

Jones was the once to pounce, an understandable move given the Suns long wanted desire for a genuine point-guard to partner Devin Booker in the backcourt. Paul was ageing but looked revitalised, allowing Phoenix to take a chance on the veteran. The Ringers’ Kevin O’Connor immediately identified the potential fit with Deandre Ayton, a combination that’s proved extremely fruitful over the last two seasons.

"“Chris Paul will do wonders for Deandre Ayton as the best P&R playmaker of his career. We’re about to witness the best version of Devin Booker with the easy shots CP3 can create for him as a cutter and shooter. With a strong supporting cast, the Suns will be really, really good”, O’Connor wrote."

This was a genuine win-win deal for both teams. The Suns got a player who catapulted them into championship contention, while the Thunder moved on the returning players for more draft assets as they went into full rebuild mode.