In the 2020 offseason, the Phoenix Suns drastically changed the landscape of their team and the entire Western Conference when they traded for future Hall of Fame guard Chris Paul.
They reached the NBA Finals in his first season with them, only blowing a 2-0 series lead and losing in six games to the Milwaukee Bucks.
Paul said his experience there got him “addicted” to play in the World Cup, but while it looked like Phoenix would make it back to the finals, they failed to do so.
In fact, they didn’t even make it past the second round, and Paul’s quote about “addiction” looks bad now.
The Suns have not advanced past the second round since the 2021 NBA Finals. pic.twitter.com/Fh4tAX6UEh
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) May 12, 2023
Last season, after a championship failure, the Suns won 19 of their first 22 games, leading many to think they were a lock to return to the NBA Finals, if not win it all.
They took a 2-0 series lead, then blew a 3-2 lead over the Dallas Mavericks in the second round of the playoffs, and with the Mavs’ Luka Doncic dealing with a lackluster supporting cast, it looked like Phoenix was headed for the West End. : Conference Finals showdown with the Golden State Warriors.
Instead, they got blown out in Games 6 and 7, and Game 7 turned into a 33-point loss at home.
This year, the Suns battled to a 2-2 series tie with the Denver Nuggets in the second round, but they lost Game 6 by 25 points to end their season.
Aside from the lack of depth that is a direct result of the controversial Kevin Durant trade, Paul is 38 years old and clearly not the player he once was.
Even worse, he had a long injury layoff in the playoffs, and that continued this year when he missed Denver’s final four games with a groin ailment.
It’s starting to look extremely likely that Paul, arguably the best pure putt guard of the 2010s, will end his career without a championship ring.
NBA Insider details the shocking Devin Booker decision