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The Phoenix Suns’ front office is engaged in talks with Chris Paul to determine the best course of action for the veteran point guard and his future with the team, ESPN and The Athletic reported on Wednesday night, June 7 (Thursday, June 8, Manila time).
Turner Sports reported earlier Wednesday that the Suns planned to waive Paul, but according to ESPN and The Athletic, Phoenix was still weighing its options in an attempt to find a resolution that best suits Paul and the organization.
While waiving Paul is still on the table, the Suns also could involve him in a trade or stretch his contract over multiple years, per the reports. Phoenix could also opt to re-sign Paul in free agency after waiving him.
ESPN reported that Paul could be included in a trade along with center Deandre Ayton if the Suns decide to significantly shake up their roster.
Paul’s agent, Steven Heumann of Creative Artists Agency, was also involved in the discussions surrounding Paul’s future, per The Athletic.
There is one more season remaining on a four-year, $120-million contract Paul signed before the 2020-2021 season. Paul is scheduled to make $15.8 million next season.
Paul, 38, is a 12-time All-Star who has been plagued by injuries during the postseason at various times in his career. He did not play in any of the Suns’ last four playoff games against the Denver Nuggets because of a groin strain as Phoenix was eliminated.
In 59 regular-season games this season, Paul’s scoring and assist averages were down a touch to 13.9 points and 8.9 assists. He has averaged 17.9 points and 9.5 assists over 18 career seasons. Paul also shot 44% from the field in 2022-2023, down from his career mark of 47.2%.
Paul has appeared in the playoffs in 15 different seasons, including all three with the Suns as he led the team to the NBA Finals in 2021 when the Milwaukee Bucks emerged as champions. He has never won an NBA title.
The fourth overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft by the New Orleans Hornets, Paul also has played for the Los Angeles Clippers, Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder prior to his time with the Suns. The Wake Forest product has played in 1,214 regular-season games and 149 playoff games in his NBA career.
Paul’s 11,501 career assists are third in NBA history, and he is 42nd on the all-time games-played list.
Ayton, 24, averaged 18.0 points and 10.0 rebounds in 67 games last season. – Rappler.com