Chris Paul Trade Improves Suns 2021 NBA Championship Odds to +4500
- The Phoenix Suns have acquired veteran guard Chris Paul from the OKC Thunder, sending Ty Jerome, Kelly Oubre Jr., Ricky Rubio, and draft compensation the other way
- Pairing CP3 alongside Devin Booker in the Suns backcourt has shortened their title odds to +4500
- Can Phoenix contend out West? See updated NBA Championship odds for the top teams below
With the NBA offseason officially opening on Monday, it didn’t take long for our first blockbuster of a deal. The Phoenix Suns traded for Chris Paul from the Oklahoma City Thunder, for a package anchored by Ricky Rubio, Kelly Oubre and future draft picks.
Thanks to this move to acquire the ten time All-Star, Phoenix’s NBA Championship Odds have drastically improved.
2021 NBA Championship Odds
|Los Angeles Lakers||+320|
|Los Angeles Clippers||+600|
|Golden State Warriors||+750|
Odds taken Nov 16th from FanDuel
Paul-Booker Backcourt is Dangerous
The Suns already have two up-and-coming stars in Deandre Ayton and Devin Booker. The latter has been their best player for several years now and is coming off a ridiculous season where his impressive bubble run helped Phoenix make a push for the final playoff spot in the West.
In Orlando, the former Kentucky star averaged 30.5 points and six assists, just a tad higher than his season average in both categories.
Losing Ricky Rubio shouldn’t hurt the Suns too much, as they’re pairing Booker with Paul, who is more experienced and efficient on both ends of the court. There’s no doubting the impact that the 35-year old had with a young Thunder team. In one season under Billy Donovan, Paul was a crucial piece of their success, helping them make the playoffs and secure the fifth seed in the West.
Unlike Booker who is typically a score-first guard, Paul is able to impact the game in numerous ways. He’s averaged 9.9 assists in his career and is a top-notch facilitator. This will allow Booker to still score at a high rate while having a very talented guard alongside him who can elevate his game as well.
Paul is also one of the best perimeter defenders in the Association. From a scoring standpoint, he’s a much better shooter from downtown and mid-range than Rubio was.
When Booker was on the bench last season, the Suns offense was dreadful. With the addition of Paul, it will improve their offense enough to not worry about giving Booker a rest through 48 minutes.
Paul Will Also Help Ayton Thrive
Throughout Paul’s career, he’s played with elite pick-and-roll big in Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan with the Clippers to Tyson Chandler in New Orleans. Even at 35-years old, he’s still one of the best passers in the NBA.
He will pair well with Ayton as a pick-and roll-duo. Paul knows exactly how to get the most out of his teammates and once he learns Ayton’s strengths, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see a big year from the Suns center with two outstanding guards soaking up a majority of the defense’s attention.
Losing Kelly Oubre Jr is a slight disappointment for Phoenix. He was actually quite efficient in a Suns uniform, putting up a career-high 18.7 points per game last season.
Mikal Bridges will step in at the small forward position for the time being, but they could still go out and add more depth in free agency at the three. He averaged just 9.1 points last year but with a more advanced role now, Bridges could step up his game. It’s not a necessity for the Suns to acquire another SF, but we’ll likely see a veteran addition.
Playoffs Are Realistic
Discussing an NBA title would be silly. But, with the addition of Paul, the playoffs are looking to be a serious reality this season, even in a stacked Western Conference.
They just missed out on the play-in game last season after going 8-0 in the bubble thanks to Booker’s sheer dominance. He’s been extremely consistent for several years now and the same will be expected from the 24-year old in the upcoming campaign.
Acquiring Paul is going to make this team instantly better and could be exactly what Phoenix needed to make their first postseason appearance since 2010.