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Suns G.M. James Jones on Chris Paul’s return: ‘He’s close, he’s coming back’

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Suns G.M. James Jones on Chris Paul's return - 'He's close, he's coming back'
USA Today Network

On Wednesday, Phoenix Suns general manager James Jones was asked a return date for 12-time All-Star guard Chris Paul. The 18-year veteran has missed the last 10 games due to a right heel injury.

During the second quarter of the Suns’ 100-88 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Nov. 7, Paul left the game because of soreness in his right heel. After less than 14 minutes played, he was ruled out for the remainder of the contest.

According to a couple of NBA betting sites, the Suns have the fourth-best odds to win the championship in 2023. Multiple sportsbooks show higher odds for the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference.

“Chris, he’s close,” the Suns G.M. told reporters on Wednesday. “He’s coming back. He’ll be back. I can’t tell you he’ll be back [Wednesday]. He’s been looking good and we’re still taking the long view with him. From Day One, we’ve said that when our guys are eligible to play, when they’re available, they’re completely available.

“No restrictions. Nothing mentally, physically, to hold them back. So, he’s getting there. And once he gets there, you’ll know. That’s it. I always try to be honest and direct. If it was something more, we would tell you. It’s just a sore heel.”

Suns G.M. James Jones says Chris Paul is close to returning, after suffering a right heel injury on Nov. 7

Through 10 starts this season, Paul is averaging 9.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 9.4 assists per game. Plus, he’s shooting 36.8% from the floor and 27.3% from downtown. Also, he has recorded three double-doubles.

On Oct. 25, in the Suns’ 134-105 win over the Warriors, the veteran guard scored a season-high 16 points in 36 minutes of action. He finished 5-of-10 (50%) shooting from the field and 4-of-5 (80%) outside the arc.

A few Suns fans are wondering if this could be Paul’s final season in the NBA. He turns 38 next May. Right now, it’s all just speculation. In only 10 games this season, the Suns guard is posting a career-low true shooting percentage of 52.2%. His player efficiency rating is currently a career-worst 17.5.

Through his first 10 starts in the 2021-22 season, Paul averaged 14 points, 4.4 boards, 10.9 assists, and 2.1 steals per game. More importantly, he recorded five double-doubles. Offensively, the guard’s performances have declined each year since the 2018-19 season with the Houston Rockets.

However, Paul shot a career-high 93.4% at the foul line in his first season with Phoenix during the 2020-21 season. Not to mention, the Suns guard averaged 10.8 rebounds per game last season.

James is a Basketball Insiders contributor. He earned his bachelor's degree in English and Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University. James enjoys watching sports and helping gamblers win money.

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