Chris Paul was arguably the leader of the best era of Phoenix Suns basketball. General manager James Jones, who traded for Paul in Nov. 2020, made a bold claim about Paul, who was traded to the Washington Wizards and later Golden State Warriors after the Suns made a trade for Bradley Beal.

“You can see Chris' fingerprints all over it,” Jones said of the Suns' last three seasons, in which they reached their third-ever NBA Finals and set a franchise record in wins (64). “I think people will remember this stage of Suns basketball, and Chris Paul will be a face that's vivid in your memory, etched in your memory.

“He's going to go down as one of the greatest, if not the greatest, point guard in the history of the game.”

Paul played his 18th NBA season this past year with the Suns, averaging 13.9 points, 8.9 assists and 4.3 rebounds per game. He suffered a left groin strain in Game 2 of Phoenix's Western Conference semifinal series versus the Denver Nuggets and did not return as the Suns lost the series in six games.

If Paul were healthy, the Suns may have won that series. They will now turn to an era in which they have franchise player Devin Booker with Beal and Kevin Durant, led by coach Frank Vogel and a team constructed by Jones and new majority owner Mat Ishbia in 2022-23.

Chris Paul is arguably a top player ever. He made the NBA's 75th Anniversary Team and has been well-regarded for what he's done in the NBA. Unfortunately for him, he has not captured an NBA championship, which to some is a knock against his terrific career.