NBA News: Are the Suns looking for their Chris Paul replacement?

Phoenix Suns point guard Chris Paul (Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports)
Phoenix Suns point guard Chris Paul (Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Phoenix Suns are expected to be buyers at the trade deadline and have been linked to several players already. However, several players who the Suns have been linked to share one commonality, they’re points guards.

That is notable because Phoenix already have future Hall of Famer Chris Paul but Paul is 37 and has struggled to stay healthy this season. With the end in sight for Paul, the Suns are rightfully looking for his replacement and could find one at the trade deadline.

The Suns have been linked to several point guards

Thus far, D’Angelo Russell, Immanuel Quickley and Fred Van Vleet’s names have all come up in relation to the Suns. Russell seems somewhat likely to be traded at the deadline given his struggles this season and that he’ll be a free agent this summer.

He has come on, as of late, however, and the Suns could trade for him and use his Bird rights to re-sign Russell this summer. That would be with the understanding that the 26-year-old will be the team’s starting point guard when the Point God calls it a career.

The same could be said for all-star Van Vleet who is also likely to be dealt ahead of free agency. He is reportedly looking for up to $130 million in free agency and would normally be out of the Suns’ price range. Fortunately, they have two big expiring contracts in Dario Saric and Jae Crowder, and all of their first-round pick, which could help them add Russell or Van Vleet.

Meanwhile, Quickley is still on his rookie contract and is a solid young guard. However, he has been displaced in the Knicks lineup by Jalen Brunson, making him expendable. The Knicks may prefer to keep him but have shown a willingness to move him too. If the Suns believe that he could be their next starting point they could give up a first to land him.

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All in all, based on who the team has been linked to, it’s clear that they are in the market for a long-term replacement for Paul. While Paul may not retire after this season, the Suns are starting to look now. Moreover, they have the assets to acquire a starting caliber point guard, and a willingness from their new owner to spend. That opens the door to re-signing whomever they potentially trade for.