Suns Give Definitive Answer on Chris Paul’s Status Against Lakers

Getty Images Chris Paul of the Phoenix Suns holds his shoulder after a foul from Wesley Matthews.

Chris Paul reaggravated his shoulder against the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 5, although the Phoenix Suns are leaving little doubt that their veteran guard will be on the floor for what could be a closeout game.

Suns general manager James Jones spoke with Arizona Sports’ Burns & Gambo on Wednesday and made a clear statement on Paul’s status going forward.

“Chris is fine. We’ll be ready to go, he’ll be ready to go,” Jones told Arizona Sports’ Burns & Gambo on Wednesday. “I think he’s shown over the course of his career and specifically recently that if he’s able to help his team he’ll be out there. We’ll be good and we’ll get ready for a battle.”

He then doubled down when prompted with a question about a setback.

“Until Chris isn’t out there, we always plan and expect him to be there,” James said. “I don’t know how to say it any clearer than that. Unless Chris isn’t playing, he’s playing.”

Chris Paul Did Not Think Play That Injured Him Was Dirty

Chris Paul

GettySuns guard Chris Paul.

Paul hasn’t missed a game in their series, although he’s been limited for most of the games, scoring in double-digits just once. He’s averaging 9.4 points, 6.8 assists and 3.8 rebounds in the series.

Paul reinjured his shoulder while trying to box out Lakers veteran Wes Matthews. The play was reviewed and Matthews was assessed a common foul for what was a fairly routine play.

After watching the play himself, Paul let Matthews off the hook, speaking with him after the game to let him know it wasn’t dirty and was not holding a grudge.

“After I’d seen it, I came back on the court and told Wes it was a clean play,” Paul said, “just unfortunate that my neck and arm snapped like that again.”

Paul said he’s reached out to other players around the league who have experienced something similar to the stinger he’s suffering from, in particular, Raptors guard Kyle Lowry.

“I’ve been talking to Kyle Lowry a lot. He had a similar injury last year. It’s a very uncomfortable feeling,” Paul told reporters. “I’ve kind of been helpless. When it happened, I didn’t know, I was just looking up.”

Chris Paul Postgame Interview – Game 5 – Lakers vs Suns | 2021 NBA PlayoffsLos Angeles Lakers vs Phoeniox Suns – Full Game 5 Highlights | June 1, 2021 | 2021 NBA Playoffs 🚨 $100K KNOCKOUT ROYALE: 📌 SHOP OUR NBA MERCH COLLAB: 📌 Follow our Instagram: 📌 Follow our TikTok: 📌 Follow our Facebook: 📌 Follow our Twitter: 📌 SUBSCRIBE, LIKE &…2021-06-02T05:24:24Z

Chris Paul Expected to Test Free Agency: Report

Paul has certainly boosted his value with his All-Star year, proving again to be the missing catalyst for teams looking for a culture shift. Just as he did in Oklahoma City, Paul helped the Suns turn the tide and lock up the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference.

Paul has a large player option for next year but is expected to test free agency in hopes of locking up a multiyear deal, per Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report.

Paul has a $44.4 million player option, which according to several sources, he intends to decline with hopes of inking a new multiyear deal (perhaps in the $100 million range over three seasons). It’s unclear if his recent shoulder injury changes his plans.

Paul’s future is on the backburner for now as the Suns look to put away the defending champion Lakers. Surprisingly, Los Angeles is a two-point favorite for the matchup, per Odds Shark.

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