The Phoenix Suns have one of the strongest starting lineups in the NBA, but there could be sweeping changes coming to the roster this off-season.
The Suns have been contenders in the Western Conference for a few years now. They had some pieces in place previously, but the arrival of Chris Paul before the 2020 season truly put them over the top. An NBA Finals appearance that year set the tone for the immediate future, and the arrival of Kevin Durant earlier this season made them one of the top teams to beat in this year’s postseason.
Phoenix Suns Could Move On From Paul, Ayton
There is “wondering around the NBA” about whether Chris Paul and Deandre Ayton will be with the Suns next season, per @espn_macmahon pic.twitter.com/8lQ6Moagq8
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 12, 2023
But for the third straight year, disaster struck the Suns in the playoffs. It began in the 2021 Finals when Phoenix blew a 2-0 series lead to the eventual champion Milwaukee Bucks. And it got even worse last year, when the team faced a pivotal Game 7 in the second round against the Dallas Mavericks. The Suns were down 57-27 at halftime in that game, and wound up losing by 33.
History repeated itself on Thursday. While it wasn’t a Game 7, it was an elimination game for the Suns. Somehow, they were able to achieve the same terrible feat as the year before, seeing their opponents take a 30-point lead into the locker room at halftime.
Nikola Jokić and the Nuggets will be the ones advancing to the Western Conference Finals. As for the Suns, we may have seen the last of this core playing together.
According to multiple reports that have surfaced over the last 12 hours, Phoenix could be contemplating major changes to their roster.
The Phoenix Suns are expected to ‘aggressively’ shop Chris Paul this summer, per @espn_macmahon
It’s ‘pretty likely’ that Chris Paul will be playing for a different team next season 😳
(h/t B/R) pic.twitter.com/nEgtpBooEy
— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) May 12, 2023
ESPN’s Tim MacMahon said after the game on Thursday that teams around the NBA will be monitoring the situations of both Deandre Ayton and Chris Paul.
Will Anyone Take Chris Paul’s Contract?
Dealing with Ayton for the past 5 years has been a rollercoaster for the team. The former #1 overall pick has shown that he has the skill set to be a dominant center in the league, but his effort and dedication to the game have always been in question. Those issues showed their ugly heads during Phoenix’s 2023 playoff run, and it could be time for the two sides to part ways.
Also reported by MacMahon was the potential departure of Chris Paul. The point guard is now 38 years old, and has been dealing with injury problems more and more often as his career progresses. The team will probably have trouble finding someone to take his $30 million salary cap hit off of the books, but they are apparently going to be “aggressive” in attempting to do so.
It looks as though Devin Booker and Kevin Durant will still be around, but who knows what the Phoenix Suns will look like in 2024.
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Courtesy : https://sportslens.com/news/report-major-changes-coming-for-phoenix-suns-this-summer/