NBA teams could make trades for the first time this offseason beginning Monday at noon on the East Coast. Teams immediately sent shockwaves throughout the league.
The Phoenix Suns kicked things off by acquiring 10-time All-Star point guard Chris Paul from the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Milwaukee Bucks followed that up by trading for Jrue Holiday of the New Orleans Pelicans.
Chris Paul goes to the desert
The Suns, fresh off an 8-0 run in the bubble, were looking to add another key piece to their team to make a run for the playoffs. They added Paul and forward Abdel Nader for Kelly Oubre Jr., Ricky Rubio, Ty Jerome and Jalen Lecque. Paul is still a valuable player at the age of 35, and he provides a veteran presence for the young Suns.
The newest addition to the Suns’ historic lineage of point guards…
— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) November 17, 2020
Paul averaged 17.6 points, five rebounds and 6.7 assists per game last season for the Thunder last season. He gives the Suns a true point guard to pair with guard Devin Booker. Phoenix is looking to make the playoffs for the first time since 2010. Paul will also play under Suns head coach Monty Williams, who previously coached him in New Orleans for the 2010-11 season.
Oklahoma City, on the other hand, continues to rebuild. The team has the potential to have 17 first-round picks from this year to 2026. The Thunder also successfully moved Paul’s contract, which is worth $41.4 million next season with a $44.2 million player option for the 2021-22 season.
Holiday on the move
Looking to surround two-time reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo with more talent, the Milwaukee Bucks acquired Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday. The Bucks shipped Eric Bledsoe, George Hill, Indiana’s 2020 first-round pick and unprotected firsts in 2025 and 2027 to New Orleans in return. The Pelicans also have the option to swap first-round picks in 2024 and 2026.
Bucks GM Jon Horst has reshaped his roster late Monday night, acquiring Jrue Holiday and Bogdan Bogdanovic. Giannis wanted to see some significant upgrades and it appears the franchise has delivered for him. Huge night for that franchise. Kings get Divincenzo, a real asset.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 17, 2020
The Bucks are attempting to convince Antetokounmpo to stay in Milwaukee for the long-term future by adding more talent. Milwaukee went 56-17 last season but lost to the Miami Heat in the second round of the playoffs in five games. Holiday has a reputation for being one of the best defenders in the league.
Milwaukee also traded for Bogdan Bogdanovic of the Sacramento Kings. They received Donte DiVincenzo, D.J. Wilson and Ersan Ilyasova in return. Holiday (19.1 points, 4.8 rebounds and 6.7 assists per game last season) and Bogdanovic (15.1 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game) give the Bucks the ability to win now.