Livescore Thursday, April 25

The Suns’ transformative offseason hit another gear on Wednesday.

According to Turner Sports’ Chris Haynes, Phoenix notified Chris Paul that he will be waived ahead of the 2023 offseason, but The Athletic’s Shams Chrania has reported that Paul and the Suns “are exploring multiple options,” with a release of the 12-time All-Star being one of them.

The reports come just one day after the franchise introduced Frank Vogel as its new head coach.

Paul, 38, just completed his third full season with the Suns and his 18th in the NBA. He was limited to 59 of the team’s 82 games. The Suns entered the 2023 NBA Playoffs as the West’s fourth seed, defeating the Clippers in five games before losing to the Nuggets in six games. A groin injury kept Paul out of each of Phoenix’s last four playoff games.

Will Phoenix elect to waive the 12-time All-Star? Injuries are among a number of factors that could lead to the Suns’ decision.

MORE: Why Suns chose Frank Vogel to coach Booker and KD

Will the Suns waive Chris Paul?

With a number of factors at play, the Suns’ decision will be part of a larger strategy from the Suns and new owner Mat Ishbia to move towards winning the first title in franchise history.

Since taking over the franchise, Ishbia has signed off on the blockbuster trade that sent Kevin Durant to Phoenix and made a number of personnel changes, including the firing of head coach Monty Williams and the subsequent hiring of Vogel. Now, he has until June 28 to make a decision regarding Paul’s future.

According to Charania’s report, the options that the two parties are exploring include a trade, waiving and stretching Paul’s contract over multiple years or waiving him to potentially re-sign him in free agency.

Because only half of Paul’s salary for the 2023-24 season is guaranteed, Phoenix would get immediate financial relief from the move. It would be a step toward the team having more flexibility ahead of a free agency period in which it will look to build around Devin Booker and Durant.

If Paul is waived and agrees to come back on a minimum contract, he could save the Suns a significant amount of money. Phoenix could also waive Paul and stretch the money owed to him over five years, which would give the franchise much more financial relief.

If the Suns were to waive and stretch Paul, they could not re-sign him as a free agent.

For the second straight season, the Suns were eliminated from the playoffs in demoralizing fashion, suffering a blowout home loss to the Nuggets in Game 6 of the Western Conference Semifinals this year.

As noted above, Paul was unavailable to help his team due to injury, which has become an unfortunate theme during the latter years of his career. Paul was under contract with Phoenix until 2025 but the final two years of his deal were non-guaranteed. 

MORE: Suns’ challenges in building championship roster around Booker and KD

Chris Paul contract details

After coming up short in the 2021 NBA Finals, Paul re-signed with the Suns on a four-year, $120 million contract. The first two years of the deal were fully guaranteed, the third came with a partial guarantee and the fourth was non-guaranteed.

Year Salary
2021-22 $30.8 million
2022-23 $28.4 million
2023-24 $30.8 million ($15.8 million guaranteed)
2024-25 $30.0 million (non-guaranteed)

Chris Paul stats

2022-23 regular season stats

  • 13.9 points per game
  • 8.9 assists per game
  • 4.3 rebounds per game
  • 1.9 turnovers per game
  • 44.0 percent field goal shooting
  • 37.5 percent 3-point shooting
  • 83.1 percent free throw shooting

Career stats

  • 17.9 points per game
  • 9.5 assists per game
  • 4.5 rebounds per game
  • 2.4 turnovers per game
  • 47.2 percent field goal shooting
  • 36.9 percent 3-point shooting
  • 87.0 percent free throw shooting

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