The Phoenix Suns traded Chris Paul to the Washington Wizards back in June in a three-team trade that landed the team Bradley Beal. More recently, the Suns dealt Deandre Ayton to the Portland Trail Blazers as part of a three-team deal that sent Damian Lillard to the Milwaukee Bucks.
Paul spent three seasons in Phoenix while Ayton spent five seasons there, and both players were invaluable parts of the Suns team that reached the 2021 NBA Finals.
But Suns great Shawn Marion doesn’t think Paul or Ayton should be awarded the Ring of Honor award that he and former star big man Amar’e Stoudemire received.
Phoenix Suns’ 2023 Ring of Honor inductee Shawn Marion explains why he feels Chris Paul and Deandre Ayton shouldn’t be in Ring of Honor.
Paul and Ayton were traded in June and on Sept. 27 after 3 and 5 years with Suns, respectively, after helping lead them to the 2021 finals. pic.twitter.com/xORwK8s4hB
— DANA (@iam_DanaScott) September 29, 2023
“That’s not for me to decide on that,” Marion said when asked if Paul and Ayton deserve to be in the Ring of Honor. “Personally, probably no because people in that Ring of Honor, look at their spreadsheets, go back and look at everybody in that Ring of Honor. Most of them had long tenures here and are top 10 or top 15 in categories in Suns history.”
Marion was selected with the No. 9 overall pick in the 1999 NBA Draft and played for five teams — the Suns, Dallas Mavericks, Miami Heat, Cleveland Cavaliers and Toronto Raptors — across his 16 seasons in the NBA. He is best known for his time with the Suns, however, as he spent nine of his 16 seasons in the NBA with the franchise.
Marion averaged 18.4 points, 10.0 rebounds, 1.9 steals and 1.4 blocks per game across 660 total regular-season games played with Phoenix (647 starts).
Arguably his best season as a member of the Suns came during the 2005-06 season. He averaged 21.8 points, 11.8 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 1.7 blocks per game in 81 appearances with the Suns during the regular season.
Those numbers earned Marion an All-Star nod and a spot on the All-NBA Third Team.
Marion’s contributions on both sides of the ball translated into a lot of collective success for the 2005-06 iteration of the Suns. They finished the regular season with an excellent 54-28 record and made it all the way to the Western Conference Finals, where they lost to Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks in six games.
It’s certainly debatable whether Paul and Ayton deserve to be in Phoenix’s Ring of Honor. But what’s not debatable is that they were among two of the best players on the 2020-21 iteration of the Suns, one of the best teams in franchise history.