The Suns are already planning for a post-Chris Paul world. These three targets have emerged to fill that need.
There’s a lingering time crunch for the Phoenix Suns to try to get back to another NBA Finals and hopefully win it all… Their starting point guard, Chris Paul, might not have much time left before he retires.
Paul, 37, is showing some early signs of slowing down. After leading the league in assists last season, he would be fifth this year in the leaderboard if he qualified. His scoring, per game, is at a career low. Previously a steals leader six times in his career, this year and last have been his two worst years in terms of steals per game.
The Suns have some options for him to be deferential to, but that may not be enough considering their 24-24 record. Only one player on the team averages above 20 points per game at this point in time: Devin Booker.
The Suns aren’t waiting around to solve the issue of replacing Paul once his career is done, and are already eyeing some potential replacement targets.
NBA trade rumors: Phoenix Suns are looking at Chris Paul replacements at NBA trade deadline
According to Marc Stein’s newsletter, the Suns have their eyes on these three players (subscription required) as potential Paul fill-ins for the future:
- Terry Rozier
- Immanuel Quickley
- Fred VanVleet
VanVleet was an All-Star last year and has stayed consistent since a surprising outbreak year the season the Raptors won a title. This year he’s averaging 19.1 points, 4.3 rebounds and 6.3 assists per game. The Raptors will be a player at the trade deadline, mostly because OG Anunoby figures to be the most coveted target.
Rozier, on a bad Hornets team, is averaging 21.3 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 5.3 assists per game. The Hornets can’t fall for his stats this year. Again, the Hornets are bad, nearly the worst team in the Eastern Conference just ahead of the Detroit Pistons. He’s done an admirable job filling in with LaMelo Ball in and out this year, but those stats would not be reached on a talented Suns team.
Quickley, 23, buys the Suns the most time. But in just his third season, it’s hard to tell exactly what the Knicks guard’s career trajectory is compared to that of Rozier or VanVleet. This year he’s averaging 12.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 3.1 assists per game.
The Suns ostensibly would include Jae Crowder in a deal as well as some picks. Crowder kept the cryptic Tweets going this week with yet another indicator that it’s time for a trade. Maybe? Possibly? We’ve seen this song and dance before.
Seems like we should expect the Suns to make some moves.