OKLAHOMA CITY- Chris Paul’s stint with the Oklahoma City Thunder has come to an end.
After one season with the Thunder, Paul has been traded to the Phoenix Suns.
In return, Oklahoma City will receive Ricky Rubio, Kelly Oubre, Ty Jerome, Jalen Lecque and a future first round pick.
After leading the Thunder to an unexpected 44-28 season finishing fifth in the Western Conference, Paul will team up with Devin Booker to help him take the next step in Phoenix.
Last season’s return to form for Paul helped net Oklahoma City a massive return, something many would have scoffed at when the Thunder took on his contract last offseason.
Paul has two years and over 85 million dollars left on his current deal.
Rubio projects to be a key piece of the 2020-2021 Thunder with reports swirling that Dennis Schröder will be traded to the Los Angeles Lakers.
The nine year NBA veteran has averaged 11.3 points and 7.8 assists per game over his career, and is a 39.1 percent shooter from the field.
The Thunder also get a veteran wing in Oubre. In his year and a half in Phoenix, Oubre logged career highs in points per game and field goal percentage.
Oklahoma City will hope Mark Daigneault will continue Oubre’s development, continuing to improve on his 17.9 points and 5.8 rebounds per game.
Jerome and Lecque will add to the young crop of role players the Thunder continue to groom.
The Philadelphia 76ers drafted Jerome at pick 24 in the 2019 NBA draft. After being passed around to Boston and Phoenix, the former Virginia point guard will hope to find a home with the Thunder.
Jerome has featured in just 31 games, averaging 10.6 minutes per game for his career.
Lecque is another in the line of raw athletic products Sam Presti hopes to shape into role players for the Thunder.
Electing not to play basketball in college, Lecque impressed with the best vertical leap at the 2019 combine. Ultimately Lecque went undrafted and signed a two year deal with the Suns.
Lecque spent most of last season playing for Phoenix’s G-League affiliate, the Northern Arizona Suns.
With the addition of the 2022 first round draft pick, Oklahoma City now owns 17 first round draft picks from now through the 2027 draft.
Under Paul’s leadership, the Thunder were able to milk a competitive season in the wake of dealing Paul George and Russell Westbrook.
Now it appears the rebuild is here and ready to truly begin in Oklahoma City.