The Phoenix Suns have experienced nothing but disappointment over the last few seasons despite being considered championship contenders, and they could look a lot different next season.
It looks like future Hall of Fame point guard Chris Paul may not be back next season. Despite rumors that he would be waived, Shams Charnaia says they’re looking into other options to get out of his huge contract.
“The Phoenix Suns have notified Chris Paul that they intend to find a resolution this offseason that fits the veteran star and the Suns organization, which could include parting ways, league sources tell The Athletic,” wrote Charania.
“The Suns and Paul are exploring multiple options, league sources tell The Athletic, including a trade, waiving and stretching his contract over multiple years, or waiving and potentially re-resigning him in free agency, league sources say.”
For years, the Suns were a mediocre team, but when they traded for Paul in the 2020 offseason, he immediately transformed them into an elite squad. It’s the type of effect he has had seemingly every time he has found himself on a new team throughout his career.
In his first year with Phoenix, he led it to the NBA Finals, only to blow a 2-0 series lead and lose the championship to Giannis Antetokounmpo. The following season, the team had the best record in the league, but it collapsed in the second round of the playoffs and lost to the Dallas Mavericks, dropping Game 7 at home by 33 points.
Paul is used to heartbreak in the playoffs, and he has suffered a number of injuries there. This year, he had a groin injury that forced him to sit out the final four games of the Western Conference semifinals versus the Denver Nuggets.
Phoenix has a new head coach in Frank Vogel, who coached the Los Angeles Lakers to the world title in 2020. But the team has had a huge lack of depth ever since trading for superstar Kevin Durant, and there is speculation they may deal center Deandre Ayton in order to replenish that depth.
Paul is 38 years of age, and his game has noticeably declined over the last year or two. He no longer appears to have the ability to go off for big scoring nights at will when his team needs him to.
However, he is still a very capable floor general and distributor.