Chris Paul Believes Isiah Thomas Is Making Suns Personnel Decisions With Mat Ishbia

Chris Paul is being traded…somewhere. The final destination for Paul going into next season isn’t quite finalized, but we do know he is part of the trade that will bring Bradley Beal to Phoenix and send Landry Shamet to Washington along with pick swaps and some second round picks.

A third team, potentially the Clippers, is expected to be added to the deal to re-route Paul to a contender, which means right now the veteran point guard is a bit in the wind. It is fortuitous timing then that Paul is in New York doing an interview carwash for his new book, informing Good Morning America‘s Michael Strahan that he found out about the trade while flying to NYC on Sunday. The way he found out was by way of a text from his son, and he was surprised by the deal despite having apparently talked to James Jones earlier in the day, not getting any indication he was about to be dealt.

He provided those details to Sopan Deb of the New York Times in one of his other interviews on Monday, but the eye-opening part of his answers was the matter of factness with which he said Isiah Thomas was making personnel decisions with new owner Mat Ishbia.

But when it comes through and my son texts me, I realize that, you know, Mat and Isiah, I guess, just wanted to go in a different direction.

Like I say, it is what it is. But like I said, Mat and Isiah must have wanted to go different.

When Ishbia purchased the Suns there were immediately rumors he wanted to bring Thomas into the front office, but he insisted that wasn’t the case, even though Thomas was sitting courtside with him during the playoffs (Isiah was next to him during Ishbia’s kerfuffle with Nikola Jokic). Thomas had a failed run as an executive and coach with the New York Knicks that included him being named in a sexual harassment lawsuit by Anucha Browne Sanders, before a stint at FIU and back in the front office with the New York Liberty. Thomas has spent the last decade with NBA TV as an analyst, but is close with Ishbia given his Detroit ties.

Ishbia and the Suns have been adamant Jones is still in charge, but Chris Paul sure seems to want it on record that isn’t the case and believes Thomas played a role in Phoenix pursuing the Beal trade.