Chris Paul had a heartwarming message for Oklahoma City fans on Tuesday night after he was traded to the Phoenix Suns earlier in the week.
Paul was drafted out of Wake Forest by the New Orleans Hornets in 2005. Because of the devastation brought to Louisiana by Hurricane Katrina, the Hornets were forced to play most of their home games in Oklahoma City during Paul’s first two seasons.
The All-Star point guard acknowledged his history with the city in his goodbye message to OKC on Instagram:
“OKC!!! What a full circle moment this last season was!! Genuinely grateful for your hospitality and the warm welcome from day 1. Much love to everyone in the organization, the fans, and most importantly the fellas who brought out that dog, day in and day out!! Year 15 will never be forgotten.”
After a short two-year stint with the Houston Rockets, Paul was traded to Oklahoma City prior to the season last year. In his 15th year in the league, the veteran averaged 17.6 points and 6.7 assists per game.
Paul turned up those number in the playoffs, serving as a leader for the young Thunder team. The point guard dropped 21.3 ppg in the bubble. Paul carried OKC to seven games against his former Rockets team. Though they ultimately lost, Paul’s clutch efforts brought the Thunder further than expected.
Paul was the centerpiece in a blockbuster NBA trade between the Thunder and Suns on Monday afternoon. The veteran PG was traded along side Abdel Nader to Phoenix for Ricky Rubio, Kelly Oubre, Ty Jerome, Jalen Lecque and a 2022 first round pick.
As a team rife with young talent, Paul will be an excellent fit to pair alongside pure-scorer Devin Booker and rising-star big man Deandre Ayton.
Paul could be the key piece that lands the Suns their first playoff bid in over a decade.
This trade is likely just the first of many big moves to shake up the NBA this offseason.