B/R Sources: James Harden to decline player option to seek 4-year deal, Ty Lue’s reps met with Clippers to discuss future, Suns likely to guarantee Chris Paul’s contract & Portland expected to make No. 3 pick available. Details inside. https://t.co/nLlgURyv0E— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) May 17, 2023
It’s important to take wide ranging reports like this as more of a rumor mill, because you don’t always know where these whispers are coming from. They can be nuggets to build leverage from one party, or they can be legitimate... you truly never know this time of year until it actually happens.
The first item that directly impacts Phoenix’s offseason was his note about Chris Paul. Haynes reported that the Suns are “likely to bring Chris Paul back.”
Haynes stated: “The Phoenix Suns are likely to guarantee the full salary of star guard Chris Paul for the 2023-24 season, league sources tell Bleacher Report.
Paul, 38, is only guaranteed $15.8 million of his $30.8 million wage if he were to be waived by the June 28 deadline. Phoenix still maintains some flexibility with the decision, but the franchise is currently of the mindset that Paul will open up next season as the team’s starting point guard, sources say.”
Phoenix’s ability to trade Chris by picking up his option before that June 28th headline is the most important nugget in that information.
Even if they pick that option up, there are no guarantees he isn’t flipped in a trade to build depth or collect assets.
Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue had his representatives meet with the team to discuss his future this week. Haynes says that if both sides were to agree to an expanding his deal, it would come in the form of a new deal rather than an extension.
Haynes notes the Suns interest in Lue by citing Marc Stein’s report linking his tweet in the article.
The Suns, league sources say, are expected to explore the feasibility of trying to lure Tyronn Lue away from the Clippers after tonight's abrupt dismissal of Monty Williams as coach.— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) May 14, 2023
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Lue has two years remaining on a five-year deal, $35 million deal. If the Suns want to acquire Lue, it would likely come in the form of a trade along with a massive contract that pries him away from the Clippers.
Haynes goes on to note that Suns associate head coach Kevin Young will interview with the Suns as early as next week.
According to the report, Young appears to have the backing of many Suns’ players. If they are unable to land Lue, it looks like Young could be a legitimate candidate.