Chris Paul and the Phoenix Suns have had a disappointing 2022-23 campaign so far, especially given that they had title aspirations coming into the season.
While the organization is unlikely to trade away the veteran point guard, other executives are reportedly monitoring the situation to see if Paul has worn out his welcome in Phoenix.
“Again, zero known interest from the Suns in trading CP3, but other executives are keeping a side eye on that situation in the event that Phoenix — with new ownership reportedly set to be in place soon — decides to focus on sustaining a core around Devin Booker,” wrote Matt Moore of Action Network.
The arrival of Paul in Phoenix in the 2020 offseason gave the roster a stabilizing force as well as some needed leadership. In Paul’s first two seasons with the Suns, they experienced two of their most successful campaigns in many years.
Prior to the 12-time All-Star partnering with Booker, Phoenix had missed the playoffs for 10 consecutive years. But once the Paul era began, the Suns advanced to the NBA Finals in their first season with him. Unfortunately, they couldn’t overcome Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks in the 2021 Finals, falling to the eventual champions in six games.
In the 2021-22 campaign, Phoenix set a franchise record with 64 wins. However, the team was eliminated earlier than it was in the previous season, losing to the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference semifinals.
This season, the Suns have struggled and are just 26-25 so far. The injury bug has not been kind to the organization, with Paul and Booker already missing a significant number of games.
Paul has suited up in just 30 contests. In those appearances, he has recorded 14.3 points and 8.7 assists per match on 45.0 percent shooting from the field and 40.5 percent shooting from deep.
As for Booker, he has played in 29 contests and is averaging 27.1 points, 4.6 rebounds and 5.6 assists per match. He has shot 47.7 percent from the field and 37.0 percent from beyond the arc.
Only time will tell if the Suns can recover when both stars have clean bills of health. If the team fails to find success this season, then the front office breaking up its core group of players probably wouldn’t be too surprising to some fans.
If that were to happen, Phoenix would likely have plenty of suitors for Paul, as there are franchises who likely covet the legendary point guard despite him turning 38 years old this coming May.