Suns Make Final Call on Chris Paul’s Status for Elimination Game 6

Chris Paul, Phoenix Suns

Getty Chris Paul of the Phoenix Suns.

Ahead of a must-win Game 6, the Phoenix Suns have officially ruled starting point guard Chris Paul out, according to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon. Phoenix’s starting big man Deandre Ayton has also been added to the injury report, with his status for the pivotal game being questionable with a rib contusion.

Paul got sidelined with a hamstring injury during the Suns’ matchup with the Los Angeles Clippers in the Western Conference Quarterfinals. But Phoenix has been able to remain competitive without their starting point guard. However, after getting blown out on the road by the Denver Nuggets in their last game and on the brink of elimination down 2-3 in the series, Paul’s absence is now a factor.

He has averaged 12.4 points, 7.4 assists, and 5.0 rebounds in 7 games in the 2023 playoffs.

Suns Urged to Target Alec Burks During Offseason

With the Suns on the brink of elimination and the Nuggets looking like a legit title contender, some have already begun to ponder what a successful offseason will look like for general manager James Jones.

One question mark during this postseason has been the Suns’ depth. Booker and Durant have had seemingly instantaneous fluidity during their short time as teammates, but what has been just as clear is that their depth took a hit as a result of the trade that landed them Durant in February. Now with a chance to build around a superstar duo that appears to have limitless heights, Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report says that landing Alec Burks would be a “dream” for Phoenix this summer.

“The Phoenix Suns gutted their roster to land Kevin Durant at the trade deadline. Considering the return was Kevin freakin’ Durant, it’s probably a sacrifice they’d make 11 times out of 10. Still, the stardom of Durant and Devin Booker can only do so much to cover up Phoenix’s lack of depth. Tack on the injury risks tied to Durant and Chris Paul, and the Suns are essentially performing high-wire acts without a safety net,” Buckley writes.

“They’ll be top-heavy as long as they’re committed to this core, but a sturdy veteran like Alec Burks could at least expand the rotation a bit. He isn’t astoundingly good in any one area, but he is a willing defender who shoots well from range (40-plus percent the past three seasons) and offers a pinch of shot-creation.”

Nuggets Coach Sounds off on Devin Booker

Booker has been lights out during his 2023 postseason campaign. He is averaging 35.9 points, 7.1 assists, and 5.2 rebounds in 10 games. One could argue that Booker is the sole reason the Suns have remained competitive in this series with the top-seeded Nuggets.

Durant has made his share of contributions in this series but has been frigid from beyond the arc, shooting 22.2% from range. Booker, on the other hand, is shooting a scorching 60% from the field and 51.7 % from beyond the arc, making every Suns’ possession count with his efficiency.

Nuggets head coach Michael Malone says that going forward in this series, his team’s mantra will be simple — anybody but Booker.

“We have to give Devin Booker different looks,” Malone said before Game 5 via Gerald Bourguet of

“It can’t be the same thing for 48 minutes, he’s a great player. This guy had two 40-point games in the NBA Finals. You have to give ’em different looks somehow, some way. So, we’ll look to be aggressive with him at times, and other times, we may not be as aggressive. Try to keep him off-balance as best as possible, but if we’re gonna go down, I still want somebody other than Devin Booker to beat us, because that guy is lethal.”