Chris Paul has been ruled out indefinitely after being placed in the NBA's health and safety protocols, according to The Athletic. The Phoenix Suns guard's status is uncertain for the start of the Western Conference Finals. The Suns will face the winner of the Utah Jazz vs. Los Angeles Clippers series. Paul's isolation time could be shorter than normal if he received the COVID-19 vaccination.
Paul and the Suns are coming off a successful playoff series, sweeping the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Semifinals. The 36-year-old NBA veteran recorded a season-high 37 points in Game 4 of the series on Sunday and averaged 25.5 points and 10.3 assists in the four games. Paul is now one step closer to reaching the NBA Finals for the first time in his career.
"A couple years ago, they were writing me off. 'You can't do this.' This ain't about me, it's about us," Paul said on the court postgame, per ESPN. "Shows what you can do when you come together as a team. We've got a great team over there and it's a lot of fun to be a part of it." Paul had such a strong 2020-21 season, he received some MVP votes. He played in all 70 regular-season games and averaged 16.4 points and 8.9 assists per game. His play led to the Suns finishing the season with a 51-21 record and second place in the Western Conference.
"Chris Paul could arguably be the greatest point guard of all time. And you know what you have in Devin Booker, just a professional bucket-getter," Nuggets head coach Michael Malone said per Yahoo Sports. "So, they're going to be a tough out. You have to tip your cap to them and give them the respect that they deserve."
Paul was drafted No. 4 overall by the New Orleans Hornets in 2005. He was with the Hornets for six seasons before heading to the Los Angeles Clippers. In 2017, Paul joined the Rockets and spent two seasons there before heading to the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2019. He was traded to the Suns in November 2020. In his career, Paul was selected to play in the All-Star game 11 times and was named All-Star Game MVP in 2013. He was selected to the All-NBA Team 10 times and the All-Defensive Team nine times.