Bleacher Report’s Chris Haynes tweeted Wednesday the Suns are waiving the future first-ballot Hall of Famer, but Paul currently is on the roster, sources say.
This comes after the Suns introduced Frank Vogel as their new head coach Tuesday at Footprint Center. Vogel talked about the idea of having Devin Booker, Kevin Durant, Deandre Ayton and Paul.
“I love what we can accomplish, the firepower that we have with those two prolific, savage scorers (Booker and Durant) with bookends in Chris and Deandre at the guard and center position and a lot of the other pieces,” Vogel said. “I feel like we can do great things right away. This city, this community is a destination for coaches, it’s a destination for players and I feel like we’re going to be able to attract some real talent and hopefully have one hell of a run here.”
The Suns have the following options when it comes to Paul, with waiving him being one of them.
They also can guarantee his money and keep him, but that would hinder the Suns from making roster moves under the new collective bargaining agreement.
I’m guessing the team would prefer a trade while Paul would surely prefer to pick where he’s going next: likely back home to Southern California to play with LeBron, crossing that item from his bucket list. Maybe the Lakers even trade for Kyrie Irving, sucking all the oxygen from the ESPN studios.
But the end in Phoenix is a definite possibility now, and if this is curtains for another Hall of Fame point guard in our midst, Paul will finish his illustrious Valley career in the same manner as Charles Barkley: one tantalizing title run followed by two inglorious playoff exits.
Paul recently told a heart-wrenching story regarding his daughter, and how she is old enough to be hearing schoolyard taunts about her daddy and his zero championship rings. That’s cold. But he is not retiring anytime soon. His overall basketball legacy is not yet complete.
Yes, he was hurt every year in the playoffs. He failed to deliver a championship. When it comes to the best point guard in franchise history, Paul will forever rank behind Steve Nash and his consecutive MVP awards.
Yet the Suns would not have turned a competitive corner without Paul’s full commitment and cutthroat approach. If Monty Williams was the agent for change, Paul personally put the program in overdrive, pushing and prodding the Suns to the doorstep of an NBA championship.
Paul is a non-stop talker and relentless agitator. He doesn’t adapt to a culture. You adapt to him. He is the culture. His style seems to have a short shelf-life with franchises, coaches and teammates. He’s a hard-core dude, and I will forever love him for that.
Paul holds another distinction: no NBA player has ever lost his superpowers so mysteriously, almost overnight, immediately after celebrating a birthday. On the day he turned 37 years old, Paul committed a shocking seven turnovers in the first half of a road loss to Dallas. It’s been mostly downhill ever since.
There should be no trolling or taunting from haters hiding inside the fan base. This is the time to start bookmarking the memories, the ballhandling wizardry, the elbow jumpers, the screaming matches with Deandre Ayton and those magical nights when he seemed to have nine other players on a string.
If Wednesday was a harbinger of what’s around the corner, we owe it to Paul to remember the good times. And how bad it was before he got here.
“Everything,” Butler “What are you talking about? That’s why everybody plays this game I lied, that’s why a lot of people play this game is to win a championship. Everybody here is to win a championship. That’s all we lock in on; that’s all we’re focused on. Like we put so much energy towards winning and playing for one another that if we do this together, we get to celebrate this together, we’re like, I don’t know the word, itched, niched, we made our mark in history together forever, so we’re in that.”
As Butler, 33, comes into Game 3 of the NBA Finals against the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday night, he does so as the driving force behind the Heat’s surprising run. They are just the second No. 8 seed in NBA history to reach the Finals, and Butler has been at the center of Miami’s wins over the No. 1-seeded Milwaukee Bucks, No. 5-seeded New York Knicks and No. 2-seeded Boston Celtics. Butler won the Larry Bird Trophy as the MVP of the Eastern Conference finals, but he has his eyes on an even bigger prize.
“It’s only about winning here,” Butler said. “It’s only about working hard, it’s only about being together, and they only bring people here that’s about one goal. We’re not worried about how much money you make, we’re not worried about the stats, we’re not worried about the All-Star appearances, we don’t give a about no Eastern Conference final MVP. Honestly, we don’t give a f— about no Finals MVP either.
“We only care about winning the championship, and then we can break that goddamn trophy up 15 ways and we all get a piece of that, but that’s what it is.”
As Butler reflects on one of the most unlikely paths to stardom in NBA history, he does so with an appreciation for what he’s been through to get to this point. Butler admits that, after being selected by the Bulls with the 30th pick in the 2011 draft, even he didn’t see this level of stardom in his future. He worked his way up from being the last man on the bench in Chicago to being one of the top stars in the game 12 years later, but he acknowledges that he didn’t see this kind of rise to stardom coming.
As Butler sits on the cusp of cementing both his own greatness and that of this iteration of the Heat, the team he has now led to the Finals twice in four seasons, he does so with an admiration for being able to raise the level of his own game within the framework of a Miami team that follows his lead.
“I’m happy it’s here,” Butler said. “I’m happy I get to do it with these guys. I’m happy of the man, the dad, the basketball player, the everything that I am today. And I’m still very grateful for day one in the Berto Center [with the Bulls] and the Mayo Clinic facility with the Timberwolves and whatever the 76ers’ facility is called I’m grateful for all those opportunities that’s getting me here to know what I got to do to get it done.”
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