The Phoenix Suns should not pursue Chris Paul

Chris Paul Devin Booker Phoenix Suns (Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images)
Chris Paul Devin Booker Phoenix Suns (Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images) /

There is no secret about it: the Phoenix Suns are in desperate need of a point guard and would prefer to add a veteran. Chris Paul should not be a target.

According to Zach Lowe, NBA insiders believe that the Phoenix Suns could potentially target Chris Paul this summer in trade with the Houston Rockets, something that fortunately he vehemently believes would be a terrible idea.

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CP3 would undoubtedly be a huge upgrade over literally everyone they currently have manning the position on the roster, and if acquired, would their best PG since Steve Nash.

But as exciting as obtaining a prime Chris Paul would be, the Phoenix Suns would not be acquiring prime  Chris Paul, they would be acquiring an over the hill and declining former star who is set to earn over $124,000,000…IN THE NEXT THREE YEARS.

Honestly, I get enough of CP3 in his very entertaining State Farm commercials and don’t need to see him every game (I always feel bad for Paul whenever I see James Harden burn up his kitchen. It really makes you wonder how much Harden actually got out of his opportunity at a supurb Arizona State education).

Playing the entire 2019-20 season at the age of 34, the Suns would not only be locking up significant cap space this summer preventing much movement outside of the addition of Paul, but essentially would make him a central part of the core until the summer of 2022.

If Phoenix wanted to re-sign Kelly Oubre, do you think they’d be able to after signing Chris Paul?

Nope. And you can kiss good bye adding a power forward to the starting lineup as well unless they somehow found a diamond in the rough in the draft.

Phoenix Suns
Phoenix Suns /

Phoenix Suns

Paul has also not played a full season since 2014-15 – the only 82 game season he has played his entire career – making tip-off in just 61, 58, and 58 over the last three seasons. The likelihood of this continuing for the duration of his contract as well as the potential for more severe rust in his bones must be taken seriously when considering acquiring him.

Phoenix too does not have any long-term albatross contracts they could flip in a package for him, the only potential positive a trade like this might have. Their largest contract is that of Tyler Johnson, but at “only” $19M for this one season alone, swapping him for Paul (simply for contractual purposes) thus makes no sense long-term.

The one positive would of course be that Paul would make the Suns a much better team (when healthy) right away. Phoenix undoubtedly would leap out of the Western Conference basement and who knows: could easily make a solid run at the playoffs – if not entirely break through.

There too is no guarantee that any of the younger point guards who James Jones potentially has interest in can be acquired.

For instance, while Suns fans would really love the acquisition of D’Angelo Russell, the Brooklyn Nets have no specific reason to let him go.

The same goes for Kemba Walker who at least as an unrestricted free agent would be slightly more attainable than Russell, although still a long shot in what undoubtedly will be a competitive marketplace for him – and that’s just in the Pacific Division alone.

In the end, if the Phoenix Suns are ultimately forced to decide between trading for Chris Paul and signing, say, Ricky Rubio to a four-year deal worth $70M, CP3 is unarguably the better player.

But are all the negatives surrounding his age, health, and contract which is so large it would ultimately prevent additional moves upgrading other weaknesses with the roster too much to overcome?

In my humble opinion, yes. Trading for Chris Paul at 26-years-old would be worth every penny and something they really should have found a way to do when the opportunity arose in 2011 (he was traded from New Orleans to the Clippers for Al-Farouq AminuEric GordonChris Kaman and a 2012 1st round draft pick – Austin Rivers was later selected).

One cannot help but wonder if former worst-general-manager-in-Phoenix-Suns-history Lance Blanks could have overcome what the Clippers offered with a package centered around Jared Dudley, Channing Frye, Marcin Gortat, and their own first round pick (which was Markieff Morris and should have been Kawhi Leonard).

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It really is too bad that a team cannot trade a player and retain a part of his contract so that the new team does not have to pick up the entire tab of that original deal (the way trades can be made in baseball). Based on his contract alone, acquiring Paul today makes zero sense for Phoenix, and fortunately I believe that James Jones has enough sense to understand this.

Sorry, Houston, that’s your contract to deal with, no chance you will be passing that off on the Suns.