Monday update — CP3 is being listed as out for Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals against the Clippers on Tuesday night. Paul was unable to clear health and safety protocols in time to return for Game 1, though the Suns defeated the Clips anyway to take a 1-0 lead in the series. It appears unless Paul clears protocol tomorrow, he’ll miss a second straight game. There’s hope CP3 will clear protocols soon and get back on the court to help the Suns advance to the Finals.
Saturday update — Paul remains in the health and safety protocols due to his positive COVID-19 test. He will not play in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals against the Clippers, per Shams Charania.
Update — Paul tested positive for Covid-19, which is why he was placed into health and safety protocols on Monday, per John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports. Gambadoro adds that CP3 did get the Pfizer vaccine back in February. This would mean that Paul won’t have to stay in health protocols for the full amount of time and may not need to isolate for long since he’s been vaccinated. The point guard would need to return a negative test in order to return to the team, which is awaiting its opponent in the Western Conference Finals.
This is really only speculation at this point, but it would appear CP3 isn’t in as much danger of missing games as was originally thought. If he was in fact vaccinated, he should be fine to start the WCF, which could start as early as Sunday or Monday.
An update on some Suns futures. Phoenix is +240 to win it all and -155 to come out of the West after Wednesday’s news exodus in the NBA. Paul has jumped to +700 to win NBA Finals MVP after sitting around 18-20/1 a few weeks back early in the second round. Paul remains a solid bet if you think he won’t miss much time due to Covid-19 protocols and the Suns can make a run at the title.
Phoenix Suns PG Chris Paul has entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols and is sidelined indefinitely, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported early Wednesday morning. The Suns swept the Denver Nuggets to advance to the Western Conference Finals and will await the winner of the Utah Jazz-Los Angeles Clippers series, which is tied 2-2. As a result, Paul’s status for the start of the Conference Finals is up in the air. Charania mentions, for someone who is vaccinated, this period of isolation would be shorter.
So let’s break down the timeline a bit. The Jazz and Clippers play Game 5 on Wednesday night. That series will go at least until Friday with Game 6 and if it goes the distance, would end on Sunday, June 20th. If Jazz-Clips goes 7 games, we can expect the WCF to start on Tuesday at the earliest. That would give Paul 6 days of isolation if he’s already in health and safety protocols.
Chances are he would have to spend at least 10 days isolated and produce multiple negative tests in order to return to the court. So there’s the possibility that CP3 could miss at least a game or two early on in the series. If, say, the Jazz or Clippers ends it in 6 games, then things get interesting if the NBA decides to start the Conference Finals early. If CP3 is vaccinated, all of this may not matter and Paul won’t miss any games.
Either way, this isn’t a good look for anyone. Paul is averaging 15.7 points and 8.7 assists in 10 playoff games in 2021. He’s also shooting at an insane 51/44/90 clip this postseason. Paul was looking like a legit NBA Finals MVP candidate if the Suns were to advance and win it all. Now, all of that is in jeopardy.