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Dub Hub, Daily Warriors Links for 6/8/23: Where will Chris Paul go if waived by the Suns?

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Golden State Warriors v Phoenix Suns Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images

Good Morning Dub Nation,

The Denver Nuggets continued their postseason run with a 109-94 victory over the Miami Heat during Wednesday night’s Game 3 of the NBA Finals. Their display of dominance over the course of these playoffs has the Golden State Warriors, along with other teams in the West, scrambling to formulate offseason plans that will help them dethrone the new conference champions. This was especially the case for the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday afternoon as Bleacher Report’s Chris Haynes reports that the team is planning to waive starting point guard Chris Paul this upcoming offseason.

Further reporting from The Athletic’s Shams Charania confirmed that Phoenix has had conversations with Paul regarding his future with the team. However, Charania also says that a final decision has yet to be made with Paul still expressing interest in remaining on the Suns’ roster next season.

The 12-time All-Star point guard signed a four-year, $120 million contract with the Suns in 2021. He now has two-years, $60.8 million remaining on the contract which is partially guaranteed for $15.8 million dollars in 2023-24, and non-guaranteed in 2024-25. Bleacher Report’s Eric Pincus broke down Paul’s contract in an article written shortly after the Suns were eliminated in the second round of this year’s playoffs.

Via Bleacher Report:

Paul’s salary, in particular, could prove helpful since only $15.8 million of $30.8 million is guaranteed, and his $30 million for 2024-25 is non-guaranteed. If Paul were waived, his salary could be stretched over five years at $3.2 million a season.

That would immediately drop the Suns to about $8.1 million below the projected luxury tax threshold of $162 million. The team would gain the non-taxpayer mid-level exception (projected $12.2 million) and bi-annual exception ($4.4 million). Spending both would put the Suns back into the tax and hard cap their payroll at roughly $169 million.

Paul, who will be entering his 19th NBA season, is still a good player despite being far removed from the prime years of his career. This past season, he averaged 13.9 points with a 51.3 eFG% to go along with 8.9 assists and 4.3 rebounds per game. He is still an elite floor general who is more than capable of running an offense by setting up his teammates in the right spots.

The case against Paul, especially in these latter years of his career, remains his durability. At 38 years old, the veteran point guard missed 23 regular season games due to heel and hip injuries. The playoffs weren’t any better for Paul as he only appeared in seven games before a groin injury forced him to miss the remainder of the postseason once again.

Still, if he were to be waived, Paul is expected to be a hot commodity in the free agent market. The savvy veteran point guard brings leadership and a competitiveness that would be coveted by any team with championship aspirations. Having said that, the Suns will have to make a decision before any plans can be set into motion. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Paul and his representatives are hoping a decision is made well before June 28, giving him and his team enough time to prepare for the open market.

“I’m told Chris Paul and his reps want an answer on his future sooner than that June 28th deadline,” Wojnarowski reports. “They want to know if they’re headed into free agency where he would certainly be very coveted especially with the two teams in LA — the Clippers the Lakers — where he still keeps his offseason home. The Suns have a lot of work to do between now and June 28th, but they let Chris Paul know today there is a possibility that he could be waived. Right now though, Phoenix would like to find a way to financially keep Chris Paul on this roster.”

Here are the rest of today’s stories:

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