Tagged in: Phoenix Suns

Phoenix Suns complete trade to acquire Chris Paul from Oklahoma City Thunder

The Phoenix Suns on Monday obtained All-Star guard Chris Paul in a trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

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.

Suns owner Robert Sarver is bringing the future Hall of Fame guard and franchise leader to Phoenix, delivering star Devin Booker a running mate. After ending last season by going 8-0 in the bubble and establishing momentum, the Suns are set to become a factor in the Western Conference this campaign.

“We are excited to welcome Chris Paul and Abdel Nader to Phoenix,” 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. Abdel possesses all the traits on and off the court that will complement our culture.”

Paul, 35, reunites with Suns coach Monty Williams, who coached the point guard for one season (2010-11) in New Orleans. The team went 46-36 that season and lost in the first round of the playoffs.

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“His basketball mind,” Paul said of Williams in December, “I used to get so excited before games about the plays he was drawing up.”

Paul was acquired by the Thunder from the Houston Rockets last summer in exchange for Russell Westbrook, two future first-round picks and two pick swaps. Adding another future first-rounder increases the haul for Westbrook to three firsts, plus the pick swaps (along with one successful year with Paul).

Paul had a resurgent season with Oklahoma City, reclaiming his reputation as the “Point God,” as he took command of OKC’s young roster to lead it to a surprising playoff berth. Paul made the All-Star Game for the first time since 2016 and was named to an All-NBA team (second) for the first time since 2016.

He has been plagued by injuries at various times during his career, but Paul had one of his most complete and durable seasons with the Thunder, missing only one match because he was mourning the loss of close friend Kobe Bryant.

In 70 games, Paul averaged 17.6 points, 6.7 assists and 5.0 rebounds. He also led the league in clutch-time scoring, spearheading the Thunder in close games, which is what propelled them to the 5-seed in the West.

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Ricky Rubio back with Suns after testing positive

Phoenix Suns guard Ricky Rubio told reporters on Wednesday that he didn’t join the team in Orlando, Florida, until this week because of a positive COVID-19 test. Rubio said he joined the team two days ago and Tuesday was his first practice.

Phoenix has its first scrimmage on Thursday although it’s unclear if Rubio will play.

“I just had two practices so I have to talk with strength coach, [Suns coach Monty Williams] and the whole team,” Rubio said. “I feel good but we have to be smart about it. It’s a preseason game. We have to figure out a plan that’s day by day. We can’t plan ahead like other times. We didn’t know when I was going to come so we have to play it day by day.”

Rubio did not say when he first tested positive for the virus but did state that it was harder on him because while he was in Phoenix, his family stayed back in Spain. Now, he says he has to be careful with how he ramps back up and gets ready to play once again.

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Williams said he would meet with his staff Wednesday night to determine Rubio’s playing status moving forward.

Rubio, who has been involved with the league’s social justice movement while he has been out and was on a recent league call with Breonna Taylor’s mother and lawyer, also tried to put in focus the NBA’s return to basketball in the current social climate.

“It’s tough but the times we live in right now, we have to adjust to the uncomfortable,” Rubio stated. “The NBA did a really good job of keeping us safe down here. At the end of the day, basketball, right now, it’s not the first thing we’re thinking of when it comes to live. There’s a lot on our plate and everybody’s plate. We have to think for the big picture but we’re here and ready to play.”

Rubio is not the only player who hasn’t been with the team in Orlando. The Suns are without guards Elie Okobo and Jalen Lecque for what the team is calling personal matters. Center Aron Baynes told Stadium that he tested positive for COVID-19 and isn’t with the team yet.

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Suns Debin Booker replaces injured Damian Lillard in All-Star Game

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker was among the NBA’s biggest All-Star Game snubs and loudest critics of its selection process. As it turns out, the 23-year-old scoring savant is an All-Star after all.

Booker will substitute injured Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard in both Saturday’s 3-point contest and Sunday’s All-Star Game, the league informed on Thursday morning. NBA commissioner Adam Silver had the final say on which Western Conference player replaced Lillard.

Booker will fill Lillard’s spot on Team LeBron. That he was not already on the roster came as a surprise. The Suns star’s 26.4 points per match currently rank 10th in the NBA, and he is doing so on 50/36/92 shooting splits. Booker is also averaging 6.3 assists and 4.2 rebounds a night. His first All-Star selection cements his status as one of the game’s best young players.

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Lillard withdrew from the All-Star Game and 3-point contest after suffering a right groin strain (grade 1-2) late in Wednesday’s beat to the Memphis Grizzlies.

He plans to rehab during the break in hopes of leading the Blazers to a seventh straight playoff appearance. Portland currently trails Memphis by four games for the eighth seed.

Although this is his first All-Star Game, Booker has been part of All-Star Weekend in each of his five NBA campaigns. He has been in the 3-point contest three other times, winning the title in 2018 and also competing in 2016 and 2019. He was a finalist in that event as a 19-year-old in 2016, alongside Golden State’s sharpshooting duo of Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry.

Booker still holds the 3-point contest records for most points in any round and most points in a final round — he had 28 points in the finals to win the title two years ago. Booker took part in the skills challenge in 2017.

He also scored 25 points in the 2016 Rising Stars game and 17 points when he returned to that game for first- and second-year players the following season.

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Suns’ Deandre Ayton tests positive, gets 25-game ban

Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton released an apology for what he labeled an “unintentional mistake” after the NBA handed down a 25-game suspension to the second-year player on Thursday evening for violating the terms of the league and the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) anti-drug program.

According to the league’s statement, Ayton tested positive for a diuretic, which is banned by the league as diuretics can be used to hide or cleanse the use of performance-enhancing drugs.

“I do understand the unfortunate impact that this has on so many others, and for that, I am deeply sorry,” Ayton said in a statement. “I’m extremely disappointed that I’ve let my team down.”

With the 25-game suspension, Ayton will lose roughly $2 million in salary.

Ayton, 21, entered the season expecting to earn approximately $116,620 per game in 82 regular-season outings, which totals about $9.5 million for the 2019-20 season.

According to ESPN, the NBPA is planning to appeal Ayton’s suspension with the thinking this occasion falls under the “unintentional ingestion” provision of the collective bargaining agreement.

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“On behalf of the Phoenix Suns organization, (coach) Monty Williams and I are disappointed in the actions by Deandre Ayton that led to his testing positive for a banned diuretic and subsequent suspension by the NBA,” Suns GM James Jones said in a statement. “This does not uphold the standards and principles we have set for the team.”

“Deandre has expressed his deepest remorse,” Jones continued. “While he is suspended we remain committed to his growth and development on and off the court. His actions are not taken lightly, and we are committed to ensuring that Deandre understands the profound impact it has had on the team, organization, and Suns community.”

Drafted No. 1 overall in the 2018 NBA Draft by the Suns, Ayton, a former University of Arizona standout, ended with 18 points and 11 rebounds in his season debut, helping the Suns beat the Sacramento Kings, 124-95 earlier this week. In his rookie season, Ayton averaged 16.3 points and 10.3 rebounds in 71 games.

Ayton’s suspension will start Friday as he will miss the Suns’ contest against the Denver Nuggets. As of now, he will be eligible to return to the lineup on Dec. 17 against the Los Angeles Clippers.

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Phoenix Suns at Brooklyn Nets

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The Phoenix Suns invade the Barclays Center to take on the Brooklyn Nets tonight.

The Suns were really struggling with five losses from six games, but they were able to arrest a four-game slide with a nice 107-102 win at Toronto on Tuesday. Eric Bledsoe and Mirza Teletovic led the scoring with 20 points each, Brandon Knight and Jon Leuer added 16 points each while TJ Warren had 15 as the Suns snuck past the Raptors who were riding a four-game win streak. With the much-needed win, Phoenix moves one step closer back to .500 with a record of 8-9 overall and 3-4 on the road

The Suns snapped a four-game losing streak Sunday, beating the Toronto Raptors 107-102. Phoenix averages the third-most points in the league (106.5) and has scored at least 100 points in four of its last five games.

Eric Bledsoe drives the bus for the Suns’ offense, leading the team with 22.6 points and 6.2 assists per game, but also gets it done defensively, leading the team in steals (1.8) and blocks (0.7) per game. Bledsoe is coming in hot off a 20-point, 11-rebound and three-block performance against the Raptors on Sunday.

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The Brooklyn Nets have won three straight games at Barclays Center, beating the Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics and most recently the Detroit Pistons, 87-83 on Sunday night. The Nets will play 20 home games in December and January – 10 in each month – the most of any NBA team over that span. The Nets are 3-3 in Brooklyn this season and the six home games to date are the second-fewest in the Association.

The Nets have won three of their last four home games against the Phoenix Suns.

The Nets had lost four of five before their 87-83 win over the Pistons on Tuesday. Thaddeus Young led the scoring with 19 points, 10 rebounds and three assists, Brook Lopez added 15 points, nine rebounds and six blocks while Joe Johnson had 13 points as the Nets won despite scoring just 35 points in the first half. Defensively, the Nets couldn’t do much to stop Andre Drummond who dominated the paint with 20 points and 18 rebounds, but they did a great job of holding the rest of the Pistons to 30.5 percent shooting and in particular, Reggie Jackson who shot just 4 of 20 for his eight points. With the win, Brooklyn improves to 4-13 on the season and 3-3 at home.

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Los Angeles Clippers at Phoenix Suns

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Where: Talking Stick Resort Arena: Phoenix, AZ

When: 8:30 PM Arizona Time / 10:30 PM Eastern

The Phoenix Suns (3-4) are playing at home tonight against a good Los Angeles Clippers (5-3) team, who is coming off a a tough road loss to the Dallas Mavericks last night, in what had the feel of a revenge game with DeAndre Jordan as the target, in his first return to Dallas since agreeing to sign with the Mavs as a free agent, then waffling, and ultimately spurning them this off-season.

The Pacific Division rivals are trying to chase the Golden State Warriors who lead the pack, with the Clippers second with a 5-3 record, while the Suns are third with a 3-4 record so far this season.

Both teams are looking for victories after they dropped their last games in the league and a win over a division rival should restore their confidence moving forward in this young season.

The Suns are trying to avoid losing for a third straight time as they face the Clippers.

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The Los Angeles Clippers need a big win after losing three of their last four games. The Los Angeles Clippers are averaging 105.4 points on 47.3 percent shooting and allowing 101.4 points on 41.7 percent shooting. Blake Griffin is averaging 28.6 points and 10 rebounds while Chris Paul is averaging 16.5 points and 7.5 assists. DeAndre Jordan is grabbing 13.3 rebounds and Lance Stephenson is dishing 2.4 assists. The Los Angeles Clippers are coming off a Wednesday loss to the Mavericks in which they allowed 55.3 percent shooting and allowed 65 second half points. The Clippers have allowed 100-plus points in five of their eight games and are forcing under 13 turnovers per game. J.J. Redick is questionable with a back injury.

The Phoenix Suns need a big home win to get back to a .500 record. The Phoenix Suns are averaging 102.1 points on 42.8 percent shooting and allowing 102.3 points on 46.2 percent shooting. Eric Bledsoe is averaging 21.9 points and 6.1 assists while Brandon Knight is averaging 17.9 points and 4.3 rebounds. Tyson Chandler is grabbing 10.9 rebounds and Markieff Morris is dishing 1.4 assists. The Phoenix Suns are shooting 35.3 percent from beyond the arc and grabbing 47.3 rebounds per game. The Suns have allowed 100-plus points in seven of their last 11 games and are forcing 15 turnovers. The Suns have lost six of their last nine home games


  • Eric Bledsoe vs. Chris Paul
  • Brandon Knight vs. J.J. Reddick
  • P.J. Tucker vs. Lance Stephenson
  • Markieff Morris vs. Blake Griffin
  • Tyson Chandler vs. DeAndre Jordan

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