Jack87 news today, asianbookie Phoenix Suns’ Chris Paul handles the ball in Game 2 of the NBA Western Conference Semifinals against the Denver Nuggets

New Phoenix Suns head coach Frank Vogel confirmed Saturday that the team is not cutting their starting point guard Chris Paul, dispelling rumors of the 38-year-old’s parting ways with the team.

“Obviously, there was a misunderstanding yesterday — we didn’t waive Chriss as reported. But discussions are ongoing about all the options to improve the roster,” Vogel told Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated.

In the third season of the Suns, Paul averaged 13.9 points, 8.9 assists and 1.5 steals per game, but he only played 59 games in the regular season due to injuries.

Phoenix Suns’ Kevin Durant and Devin Booker take the floor in Game 2 of the NBA Western Conference Semifinals against the Denver Nuggets

“I’ve personally communicated with Chris and would very much like to have the opportunity to work with him. He’s someone I’ve respected a lot over the years, not only for his game, his toughness, his IQ, he’s one of our great winners. A game like never before. He’s done a lot for this team over the last few years so I’m really looking forward to getting the chance to work with him next year and I think he can really help us get over the top,” Vogel added .

Paul has two years left on his contract with the Suns, worth $30.8 million in 2023-24 and $30 million in 2024-25, but only $15.8 million next season is guaranteed. His final season salary was not fully guaranteed. Therefore, trading him shouldn’t be too difficult.

However, sending Paul away won’t solve the Suns’ problems, 1xbet let alone they’re still struggling to find a replacement for him. The salaries of Durant, Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton will occupy more than $116 million in salary cap space for the team in 2023-24. Giving up Paul would create at least millions in dead ends, further reducing the amount of money the Suns could spend on signing a new starting point guard.

Phoenix Suns’ Deandre Ayton plays in Game 4 of Western Conference Semifinals against Denver Nuggets

The series loss to the Nuggets showed the Suns that without a good floor general, they have no chance against the top players in the West, despite the individual dominance of Booker and Durant on the offensive end. If the Suns can’t get an upgrade from Paul via trade or free agency, keeping Paul for another season seems like a no-brainer.

Vogel’s stints with the Indian Pacers and Los Angeles Lakers have shown that he’s a solid defense-focused coach who needs a dependable big man like Roy Hibbert or Anthony Davis to do the job. to this point. He’s going to have a lot of work to do trying to mold Ayton into that type of defender, if possible.

Phoenix Suns head coach Frank Vogel attends his introductory press conference at the Phoenix Trail Center

Paul’s performance in the playoffs declined further. In the 11 games in the first round of the Western Conference and the semifinals, he played only 7 games, averaging 12.4 points and 7.4 assists, shooting only 41.8% and 32.1% from the field. Aging also makes him a weak link in perimeter defense.

That’s why the Suns were rumored to release Paul after their Western Conference semifinal loss to the Denver Nuggets. Team owner Matt Ishbia seems to prefer immediate action, judging by his decision to trade Kevin Durant and fire coach Monty Williams in February, further fueling the rumors.

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