The Phoenix Suns took over the NBA headlines and had fans questioning their most recent move. After letting go of their head coach Monty Williams, Phoenix would also waive Chris Paul from the team. While Paul had one of the worst years of his career last season, he is still a very capable point guard, and it was shocking that Phoenix would let him go for nothing in return.
However, there could be more to this move than meets the eye. There are two paths that the Suns could now take that would make waiving a player like Paul make a lot more sense.
With Paul showing major signs of regression last season, there is a chance that the Suns moved on from him to try to get a replacement point guard in free agency. While Paul was still an elite passer last season, he had a career-low in points per game and played the least amount of games in a year since the 2018-19 season.
Along with this, he suffered an injury in game two of the Western Conference Semifinals that would keep him sidelined through the remainder of the series. Phoenix would go on to lose the series in six games, however, it is very unlikely that Paul would have swayed the series in the Suns’ favor.
With him set to turn 38 years old in the 2023-24 season, there is a good chance that Paul will continue to regress next season. As a result of this, there is a strong chance that the Suns could find a much more cost-friendly option to replace Paul.
It was clear in their postseason run that while the team had enough star power to make a run to the NBA Finals, they did not have the depth necessary to bring home a championship. With Paul’s enormous contract off of the team’s books, they could make a run at a player like Fred VanFleet or Kyrie Irving to fill the hole at point guard. Phoenix could potentially stretch the $15.8 million that they would owe Paul over the next five seasons, leaving them with the option to sign virtually anyone they want if they could also move Ayton for more cap space.
If they can convince either of those players to take a team-friendly deal, they could also have some money left over to fill out their bench better.
The second and more likely option is that Paul was in on this move to be waived, and he agreed to it to alleviate the Suns of some cap issues. While the Suns would have to take the cap hit this season, they would be able to re-sign Paul to a much more team-friendly deal for the long term.
With him heading into his 18th year in the NBA and still not even making a Finals appearance, this does not seem like something that is implausible. Paul is a student of the game and knows the rules both on and off the court, inside and out.
While the Suns would still be in a bit of a bind in terms of cap through the 2023-24 season if they re-signed Paul to a cheaper deal, this move would open them up to being major players in the 2024 offseason when players like LeBron James hit the market.
Despite his age and regression, Paul is still more than capable of contributing to a championship team if he can remain healthy. While his days of being a starting point guard may come to an end, he would still be a spectacular 6th man on a contending team. With the other elite pieces that the Suns have, they could make a real run at a ring or two if they can retain Paul long-term on a cheap deal.
If you wanna bet on future NBA games we got several payment options for you:
Players must be 21 years of age or older or reach the minimum age for gambling in their respective state and located in jurisdictions where online gambling is legal. Please play responsibly. Bet with your head, not over it. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, and wants help, call or visit: (a) the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey at 1-800-Gambler or www.800gambler.org; or (b) Gamblers Anonymous at 855-2-CALL-GA or www.gamblersanonymous.org.
This site is using Cloudflare and adheres to the Google Safe Browsing Program. We adapted Google's Privacy Guidelines to keep your data safe at all times.