Chris Paul makes his NBA regular season debut with the Phoenix Suns this evening. Phoenix will host the Luka Doncic-led Dallas Mavericks at home and retired NBA player turned ESPN analyst, Kendrick Perkins couldn’t be happier for CP3 in Phoenix.
“I love it,” Perkins told me on the Heavy Live With Scoop B Show.
“I think that elevates the Suns to one of the top 5 teams in the West. If anybody is doubting that after watching him with the OKC Thunder; you gonna package him up with Devin Booker? A guy who can lead the league in scoring? A guy that’s REALLY a walking bucket, you know? And DeAndre Ayton. Chris Paul is about to do what he did for DeAndre Jordan to DeAndre Ayton. And they forgot the other pieces. The young kid Cameron [Johnson] from North Carolina that can shoot the 3-ball. They forget about Jae Crowder that they just added, you know? And I’m loving it under Monty Williams. I think they’re going to be a top 5 team in the Western Conference.”
With the added touch of CP3, the Suns have a shine! Last season, Paul held his own as the starting point guard for the Oklahoma City Thunder.
During the abbreviated NBA offseason, the New York Knicks, Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers, Utah Jazz, Denver Nuggets and New Orleans Pelicans were suitors in the Chris Paul sweepstakes during NBA free agency.
A Wake Forest product, he averaged 17.6 points, 5 rebounds, 6.7 assists, and 1.6 steals in the regular season for a Thunder team that exceeded expectations last season.
CP3 also had a great supporting cast in OKC. The Thunder had a potent roster that includes Steven Adams, Lu Dort, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Dennis Schroeder, Danilo Gallinari, Nerlens Noel and more. The Thunder ended last season with a 44-28 record and fifth place in the NBA’s Western Conference standing.
Fast forward to the 2020-21 NBA season: Paul won’t be alone in Phoenix. He’ll be joined by Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton.
Booker played quite well during the NBA bubble in Orlando, Florida last season.
Despite not making it to the NBA Playoffs, the Suns had a successful outing. They went 8-0 and shined behind the stats stuffer that Booker was.
For those tardy to the party: Booker averaged 30.5 points, 6 assists and 4.9 rebounds in 33.8 minutes a game for Phoenix.
Ayton enters his third year in the league and last season the former Arizona Wildcat averaged 18.2 points, 11.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game.
During NBA free agency, the Suns added Jae Crowder to a roster that already included Mikal Bridges.
Adding Paul to their puzzle is an added bonus. CP3 also reunites with Monty Williams. “It’s a definite level up,” Memphis Grizzlies’ Fox Sports color commentator Brevin Knight told me on the Heavy Live With Scoop B Show.
“And it scares me very much and the fact is when you are a team like the Grizzlies and you hang around that kind of 6th through 8th… 6th through 10th. Your team is 6th through 10th at this point and continuing to grow. When the teams are 9, 10,11 and 12 start to get better, then you start to worry.”