Report: Chris Paul symptom-free, Suns hopeful for return

Jun 20, 2021, 9:04 PM

Chris Paul #3 of the Phoenix Suns shoots and scores on a three-point attempt under coverage by Niko...

Chris Paul #3 of the Phoenix Suns shoots and scores on a three-point attempt under coverage by Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets in Game Four of the Western Conference second-round playoff series at Ball Arena on June 13, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

Phoenix Suns point guard Chris Paul has been symptom-free since testing positive for COVID-19 and remains quarantined in Los Angeles, where he has a home, according to Yahoo! Sports‘ Chris Haynes.

That has the Suns “encouraged with the progress” of Paul’s eventual return and believing he can clear the NBA’s health and safety protocols “early” in the Western Conference Finals, reports Haynes.

Paul missed Game 1 of the Suns’ matchup with the Los Angeles Clippers, which his team won 120-114 on Sunday.

Cameron Payne started at point guard for Paul and finished with 11 points and nine assists to one turnover.

Suns shooting guard Devin Booker carried a bigger load, going for 40 points, 11 assists and 13 rebounds with only two giveaways.

Booker walked off the court following the victory while on a FaceTime call with Paul, and he took that conversation into the locker room, where Paul virtually joined his teammates as they put a bow on the Game 1 win at Phoenix Suns Arena.

“He’s our leader, we lean on him for a lot. And we know how disappointed he is and frustrated he is that he couldn’t be out here for Game 1 in the Western Conference Finals, especially knowing his past history around this time,” Booker said.

“We had him (on the phone) all the way through: We had him in the locker room, we had him in our after-game huddle. He’s proud of us. He’s ready to get back. We can’t wait to have him.”

By the NBA’s protocols, vaccinated players must either wait 10 days after testing positive and show no symptoms for at least 24 hours or — the more likely option for a vaccinated player — receive two back-to-back PCR tests at least 24 hours apart. There are also cardiac tests involved in being cleared.

Arizona Sports’ John Gambadoro reported Wednesday that Paul is vaccinated.

Where Paul is in the return process is unclear, but the Suns next face the Clippers for another home game Tuesday at 6 p.m.

Listen to Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.

Phoenix Suns

Kevin Durant #35 of the Phoenix Suns reacts during the second half of the NBA game at Footprint Cen...

Dan Bickley

Bickley: ‘It’s time to discard expectations of championship-or-bust’ for Phoenix Suns

It’s not over yet for the Suns, but the first that has to change is our luck as a basketball city, and that’s completely out of our control.

3 hours ago

Ish Wainright Suns...

Arizona Sports

Suns bringing back Ish Wainright on 2-way contract, waive Theo Maledon

Forward Ish Wainright is re-joining the Phoenix Suns on a two-way contract after a stint with the Portland Trail Blazers this season.

7 hours ago


Arizona Sports Video

Video: What are the Phoenix Suns’ biggest issues right now?

Wolf & Luke discuss the Suns' biggest issues after losing to Houston and Oklahoma City over the weekend.

10 hours ago


Arizona Sports Video

Video: We were all booing the Phoenix Suns after a sloppy weekend

After a weekend where the Suns lost two games, Dan Bickley does his Bickley Blast on the turnovers and what the team needs to do moving forward.

11 hours ago

Kevin Durant faces a Thunder double-team...

Kevin Zimmerman

It’s on the Suns’ players to clean up their turnover rate

Kevin Durant, Jusuf Nurkic, Devin Booker and Bradley Beal all have their individual turnover problems to grapple with for the Phoenix Suns.

12 hours ago

Devin Booker...

Arizona Sports

Report: Suns expect Devin Booker ankle injury to keep him out for week or more

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker sprained his right ankle Saturday and could miss more than a week, reports Shams Charania in an injury update.

13 hours ago

Report: Chris Paul symptom-free, Suns hopeful for return