Phoenix Suns Re-Sign Chris Paul and Solidify Their Backcourt

Phoenix Suns (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) /

The Phoenix Suns accomplished their main goal in maintaining all their key players from the backcourt a season ago, while adding a much-needed piece to go alongside them.

Shortly after NBA free agency opened up, the Suns wasted no time re-signing point guards Chris Paul and Cameron Payne. Paul declined his $44.2 million player option with the Suns only to sign a new, four-year deal worth $120 million. Payne re-signed on a three-year agreement for $19 million.

With Paul taking a contract of lesser money per year, he simultaneously leaves the Suns with additional salary cap room to make even more moves as we progress through free agency. On these team-friendly deals, the Suns and their fans are surely happy to have Paul and Payne back, as each heavily contributed to the success of last season’s NBA Finals run.

But as hinted at earlier, Phoenix also received shooting guard Landry Shamet to go with their re-signed point guards in a trade with the Brooklyn Nets. While doing so, the Suns sent the 29th overall pick and point guard Jevon Carter to Brooklyn. Last season for the Nets, Shamet averaged 9.3 points per game and shot over just over 38.0 percent from the field.

And of course, the Suns still have their superstar Devin Booker.

Paul, Payne, Shamet and Booker all make up the backcourt now, which is a significant improvement from last season’s group which lacked a true shooting guard coming off the bench for Booker. The Suns have fixed that problem though by adding Shamet.

Not only does this move create more depth, but it also creates spacing for the Suns, as each of the four in the backcourt can create their own shot and knock down the 3-pointer efficiently.

Paul brings back his leadership, and his double-double performances to The Valley. His backup Payne, who only improved throughout the season, will again provide the spark off the bench anytime Phoenix needs it.

Booker now finds a guard backing him up with the ability to create plays and score for himself when needed in Shamet. That poises to take some serious pressure off of everyone’s shoulders trying to make up for the lack of scoring which typically ensues whenever Booker sits.

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Between all four, Phoenix’s backcourt averaged 59.7 points and 18.4 assists per game last year, while shooting 47.7 percent from the field and 39.0 percent from the perimeter. As the 2021-2022 season approaches the Suns undoubtedly possess a complete backcourt, with skill and veteran experience.