Chris Paul appeared to be included in a trade with the Washington Wizards in a deal that would send three-time All-Star Bradley Beal to the Phoenix Suns.
The blockbuster deal was being finalized, according to multiple reports over the weekend. Paul appeared on ABC’s «Good Morning America» Monday to promote his new book and said he was as surprised as anyone to learn he was part of the Washington-ready package.
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«I was surprised too,» Paul said. «I found out on the plane, yesterday, flying here for this. In this league, anything can happen, so just find out what’s next.»
Paul moved from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Suns before the start of the 2020-2021 season and instantly made the Suns a contender. He helped Phoenix to the 2021 NBA Finals only to lose to the Milwaukee Bucks. It was the only time he made it to the Finals.
In a separate interview with the New York Times published Monday, Paul said the team’s new owner, Mat Ishbia, and Isiah Thomas, who is close to the billionaire owner, «wanted to go in a different direction.»
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«It’s just hard. Seriously, it’s part of the business, and you realize that nobody owes you anything. No matter how you are with them or what you do, you realize that in this business, nobody owes you anything.» . anything, as it should be,» he told the newspaper.
«But when it arrives and my son texts me, I realize that, you know, Mat and Isiah, I guess, they just wanted to go in a different direction.»
The exchange has yet to be made official. Rumors have suggested that the Wizards are not Paul’s final destination and that he could be fired or even traded to a different team.
Last season, Paul played in 59 games. He averaged 13.9 points and 8.9 assists. He has been an All-Star three of the last four seasons.
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The 38-year-old will enter his 19th NBA season in 2023-2024.
Associated Press contributed to this report.