NBA rumors suggest the Phoenix Suns are looking at potential replacements for veteran point guard Chris Paul. CP3 has struggled with injuries all season and hasn't performed up to expectations. The All-Star guard has averaged 13.7 points and 8.4 assists per game, shooting a career-low 42.7% from the field.
Paul, 37, hasn't been a difference-maker, unlike the previous two seasons with the Suns. Phoenix has struggled in leading scorer Devin Booker's absence. They needed Paul to step up and make a difference, but that wasn't the case, barring a few notable outings from the 18-year veteran.
The Suns have a young core outside of Chris Paul. He is owed $28.4 million this season and has two years left on his contract worth $60.8 million. However, the Suns have only guaranteed $15.8 million in salary over the next two seasons, giving them the flexibility to move his contract.
According to senior NBA insider Marc Stein, the Phoenix Suns have shortlisted guards like Fred VanVleet, Terry Rozier and Immanuel Quickley to replace Paul. All three players will fit the team's timeline and positional requirements as Devin Booker's backcourt partner in the future.
NBA fans ruthlessly mocked Paul after NBA rumors about his potential trade emerged. The former Clippers star hasn't always been admired among fan groups, leading to him being trolled heavily on Twitter. One fan wrote:
"probably smart to start thinking about that for a 45 year old who’s played 5 games of mediocre basketball this season, but hey who am i"
A bevy of reactions followed as these rumors emerged:
Could retirement possibly be looming for Phoenix Suns star Chris Paul?
Chris Paul is evidently on a decline this season. The 37-year-old hasn't been as healthy this season, playing only 27 out of 48 games. Paul doesn't carry the same impact he did a year ago and has only shown flashes of his old self.
CP3's defense has also declined, and he is inching closer to being a liability on that end of the floor. His role with the Phoenix Suns presented him with the best opportunity he could've had to win his first-ever championship. He made the finals with the team in his first season in 2020-21.
However, Paul isn't the same player anymore. If NBA rumors about CP3's trade prospects are true, the Suns are also looking to move on and focus on their future by securing an upgrade over the aging veteran point guard.
It's unclear whether a legitimate contender around the league would require his services. The Toronto Raptors, Charlotte Hornets and New York Knicks, who VanVleet, Rozier and Quickley play for, respectively, are far from making a championship run.
Chris Paul seems to have achieved all he could at an individual level. Only championship success eludes him at this stage of his career. With his next few potential landing spots not in an ideal position to contend, the game could see one of its best point guards ever call time on his career.