Report: Chris Paul expects to return as Suns face NBA-best Celtics

Dec 7, 2022, 8:45 AM | Updated: 5:20 pm

Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (3) drives as Minnesota Timberwolves guard D'Angelo Russell (0) defen...

Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (3) drives as Minnesota Timberwolves guard D'Angelo Russell (0) defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

(AP Photo/Matt York)

Phoenix Suns point guard Chris Paul, barring a pregame setback, is expected to return from a heel injury Wednesday against the Boston Celtics, reports TNT’s Chris Haynes.

Paul has missed the last 14 games with heel soreness, last playing in a Nov. 7 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. He spoke to reporters Wednesday after shootaround and was hesitant to call himself back in the fold.

“I’m going to see how I feel after this and go from there,” Paul said.

“It’s a lot that go into it,” he added. “Just trying to push it. Fellas been playing so many games, I ain’t really have a chance to practice and have a real five-on-five. Got to see how it responds … It’s been a while. Excited to wait and see what happens.”

The Suns upgraded Paul and forward Torrey Craig from out to questionable on Tuesday ahead of the team’s home game against the Celtics, who lead the NBA with a 20-5 record.

Craig has missed the past three games with a groin strain but told reporters he expected to return as well.

Suns president of basketball operations James Jones told Arizona Sports’ Burns & Gambo hours before the game that Craig was good to go for Wednesday while Paul remained questionable.

Phoenix (16-8) also listed backup guard Duane Washington Jr. as out with a left hip strain.

On the Celtics’ injury report, Boston on Wednesday afternoon ruled out center Al Horford due to health and safety protocols.

Phoenix has lost two of its past three as the frontline has been thinned out by Craig’s injury on top of Cam Johnson (meniscus surgery recovery) and Jae Crowder (away from team) not contributing.

Dario Saric and Ish Wainright have filled in minutes at power forward.

Craig’s return would steady the defense to some degree, but certainly, Paul’s presence would add juice to a matchup between the teams respectively leading their conference.

Paul is averaging 9.5 points, 9.4 assists and 4.5 rebounds per outing over his 10 games played but had yet to find a rhythm with his shot. He hit 37% overall and 27% from three-point range to begin the year.

Point guard Cam Payne has averaged 15.1 points, 7.3 assists and a steal while shooting 40% from three in the 14 games as the fill-in starter for Paul.

The Suns host the Celtics with tipoff at 8 p.m. Wednesday. Listen on Arizona Sports 98.7, the Arizona Sports app or

Phoenix Suns

Former Suns head coach Monty Williams...

Arizona Sports

Report: Pistons agree to deal with former Suns HC Monty Williams

Former Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams has agreed to a six-year deal worth $72 million to coach the Detroit Pistons.

23 hours ago

Fans of the Phoenix Suns poses for photos outside of Footprint Center before Game Three of the NBA ...

Arizona Sports

Phoenix City Council vote passes to support Suns’ All-Star bids

The Phoenix City Council had a 9-0 vote on Wednesday in favor of supporting the bids from the Suns and Mercury to host All-Star games.

23 hours ago

Bob Myers, Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors GM...

Associated Press

Dynasty architect Bob Myers departs Golden State Warriors

Bob Myers is departing as president and GM of the Golden State Warriors after building a team that captured four titles in eight years.

2 days ago

Doc Rivers, Suns head coaching candidates...

Arizona Sports

Phoenix Suns’ list of head-coaching candidates down to 3

The Phoenix Suns have narrowed their head-coaching search to Doc Rivers, Frank Vogel and Kevin Young, reports Arizona Sports' John Gambadoro.

2 days ago

Boston Celtics guard Derrick White walks to the bench after being take out of the game in the closi...

Associated Press

Heat finish off Celtics for Game 7 victory and a spot in NBA Finals

The Miami Heat beat the Celtics 103-84, turning back Boston’s attempt at an unprecedented comeback from a 3-0 deficit.

2 days ago

Former Raptors head coach Nick Nurse, Bucks and Suns coaching candidate...

Arizona Sports

Suns coaching options continue to dwindle as Nurse reportedly joins 76ers

Former Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse is joining the Philadelphia 76ers, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, further narrowing the candidates available for the top job in Phoenix.

3 days ago

Report: Chris Paul expects to return as Suns face NBA-best Celtics