Chris Paul pushes for Suns’ Damion Lee 3-point contest appearance

Feb 2, 2023, 12:57 PM
Phoenix Suns guard Damion Lee (10) shoots against Memphis Grizzlies forward Ziaire Williams (8) in ...

Phoenix Suns guard Damion Lee (10) shoots against Memphis Grizzlies forward Ziaire Williams (8) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Jan. 16, 2023, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)

(AP Photo/Brandon Dill)

In the midst of an up-and-down season filled with injuries to Devin Booker, Chris Paul and Cam Johnson, sixth-year guard Damion Lee has been a consistent bright spot for the Phoenix Suns.

Lee, who led the league in 3-point percentage going into Wednesday night’s game versus the Hawks, is putting up a career-best 46.2% from long range and helping stretch the court in the process.

To Paul and the rest of the Suns, Lee’s performance from deep is more than worthy of a 2023 NBA 3-Point Contest nod.

“Does D-Lee want to be in (the 3-point contest)? Well, we going to get D-Lee in it then,” Paul said. “Real talk. It’s a damn shame Cam wasn’t in it last year. If D-Lee leading the league in three-point percentage then why (wouldn’t he be in it), yeah, that doesn’t even make sense.”

Lee trails only Nuggets guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (46.3%) in 3-point percentage this season.

Before this year, Lee’s highest percentage from beyond the arc was 39.7% in his 2020-2021 year with the Golden State Warriors.

“When you look at people around the league, they say really good shooters shoot 40%, so that’s a bar to reach there,” Lee said. “But when you’re invited, it’s what, eight guys? Eight of the best shooters in the best league in the world. That kind of solidifies you as being known as a marksman across the league.

“I think if that does happen, an amazing opportunity. But if it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t take away from the hard work that’s been put in. But speaking life into it, if it does happen, when it does happen, whenever it is at some point in my career, it’s definitely a dream and a goal but it’s not a goal to just go and be there.”

Before his time with the Suns, Lee spent four seasons with the Warriors and won a championship with the team in 2022. He certainly wouldn’t mind an invite to the contest during All-Star Weekend.

Outside of Booker, who made the three-point contest four times between 2016 and 2020 and won in 2018, the last Sun to appear in the contest was Channing Frye in 2010.

“We’ll know in 10 days or 12 days if the invitation comes … if the opportunity is there,” Lee said. “Just trying to do whatever I can to help us get wins as a team.

“I know with team success comes individual success so just buying into whatever that is and trying to be as good as I can be for us.”

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