3 former Phoenix Suns who will excel elsewhere in 2023-24.
3. Chris Paul
You can bet that watching Chris Paul succeed with the Golden State Warriors is going to sting more than any other player the Suns have had in recent memory. The “Point God” leaving the organization on great terms, and to his immense credit seemingly not bitter at getting booted out of town just when the franchise is on the precipice of winning it all.
Paul on the Warriors is going to take some getting used to, but it will also allow the now 38-year-old to be utilized in a way that his ageing body will be able to accept. There’s no way he is going to supplant Stephen Curry in the starting lineup, and replacing Klay Thompson doesn’t seem likely either.
There may be nights when Paul starts alongside them, and it is safe to assume he may also step in if one of the other two are injured. But this will be the time when Paul gets to play 20-25 minutes a night (for his career he sits at 34.4 minutes in 1,214 regular season games), and look fantastic running with a mix of starters and second unit players.
Draymond Green will be able to cover up some of the defensive abilities Paul has lost to age, and he will make any big who he shares the floor with look good (just ask Bismack Biyombo). The hope then is that by the time the postseason rolls around, Paul won’t break down as he has so many times before in the past.
This way of using Paul is something the Suns could never have done. With no other high level point guard on the roster (Paul was traded for Beal and so the two would have never played together), they would have relied on him more than the Warriors will. Which is why some nights he will look incredible, and Suns fans will remember him fondly. An excellent outcome for Paul.