The NBA landscape was drastically shifted with the news Monday night that the Phoenix Suns and the Oklahoma City Thunder agreed to send Chris Paul to Phoenix in exchange for Ricky Rubio, Kelly Oubre Jr., Ty Jerome, Jalen Lecque and a protected 2022 first-round draft pick.
Not everyone was thrilled when the news dropped, however, including one of the players the Suns dealt in the trade.
Rubio leaves the Suns after signing a three-year deal with the organization last offseason.
In his lone season with Phoenix, the point guard averaged 13 points, 8.8 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 1.4 steals a game. He was fourth in the NBA in assists per game.
But for Suns fans and all alike, it’s safe to say the Valley is jumping.
Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury, fresh off his team making its own national headlines, was one of those excited in the direction the Suns are on.
“I was actually texting with [Larry Fitzgerald] earlier, I’m a huge fan of [Paul] and his leadership and the toughness that he’ll bring,” Kingsbury told Arizona Sports’ Bickley & Marotta on Monday. “For this young, exciting Suns team, what a great addition to have that leadership. I’m fired up about it.”
Both current and former NBA players also chimed in with their excitement for the potential future of the Valley’s oldest professional franchise that hasn’t made the playoffs in a decade.