Kevin Garnett Issues Strong Statement on Chris Paul’s Future With Suns

Chris Paul, Phoenix Suns

Getty Chris Paul of the Phoenix Suns.

Phoenix Suns point guard Chris Paul has had an illustrious career as one of the top floor generals in the NBA. The 12-time All-Star is preparing for another opportunity to pursue his first NBA championship, as the Suns will face the Los Angeles Clippers in the opening round of the playoffs.

Even though Paul turns 38 in May, his time with the Suns could be extended thanks to the addition of Kevin Durant to the team, according to one NBA legend.

“You know who KD helped out of all of this? He helped Chris Paul,” Kevin Garnett said on the April 9 episode of “KG Certified” on Showtime Basketball. “I think this could actually extend Chris Paul’s stay at Phoenix.”

Paul has two years left on a four-year deal with the Suns, including a year of non-guaranteed money in 2024-25, when he’ll turn 40 during the postseason. He would become the 32nd player in history to play into his 40s.

Garnett intimated that Paul has been overshadowed by the arrival of Durant and the emergence of Devin Booker as a superstar. But, he said, Paul is still capable of big games.

“We forget Chris Paul is on this team right? We forget Deandre Ayton. These are two other guys who can get 30, 40 points in your league,” Garnett said.

In fact, Paul topped 30 points only once this season, on January 28 against the San Antonio Spurs, but he did score at least 20 in nine of his 59 games during the regular season.

Chris Paul Still Able to ‘Slice’ Up Defenders

Another former player echoed Garnett’s sentiments, suggesting that Durant’s presence has made it easier for Paul to continue to be dangerous.

“I think if took so much pressure off of Chris to have to be that second guy,” Matt Barnes said during an April 6 appearance on “KG Certified. “I called a game with CP last week, where this dude — without KD or Ayton — had 10 assists in the 1st quarter. … You got to think: Even though Chris is old, you got to put your third or fourth worst defender on CP. [He’s gonna] slice that person up.”

Paul matched or exceeded 10 assists in 26 games during the regular season, and his 8.9 assists per game, good for fourth in the league, was just under his career average of 9.5.


Chris Paul Prepares for Another Shot at a Championship

Paul, in this 18th season, has found himself in this position before, playing on numerous contenders. However, each has fallen short, including the 2020-21 Suns, who lost in the NBA Finals to the Milwaukee Bucks.

When the Suns host the Los Angeles Clippers on April 16, it will mark the start of Paul’s 15th postseason run.

This Suns roster could present the best opportunity that Paul will have to win the NBA Finals because with Durant in the lineup, Phoenix has posted a perfect 8-0 record. During those games, Durant has averaged 26.0 points, 6.4 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game while shooting 57.0% from the field and 53.7% from three-point range.

Booker, meanwhile, has been outstanding as well. He averaged 24.7 points, 4.0 rebounds and 6.0 assists per game during his last seven games of the season.

“I think a player like KD changes you instantly,” Garnett said. “I’m just looking at it on paper, man. I’m watching Devin Booker’s morale. I’m watching his boost. He was so boosted and was, like, ‘Oh, man, this is exactly what I needed.'”