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Chris Paul of the Phoenix Suns has entered into the NBA's COVID-19 health and safety protocols, the team announced Wednesday. He will be out of action for an unknown period of time with the next update on his status scheduled for Saturday.
It's possible that Paul, 36, may not be available to play at the start of the upcoming Western Conference finals, but we don't know when that series will begin. The NBA has not yet released the schedule for the upcoming conference finals, and Suns are still waiting to find out which team they'll be facing. The winner of the series between the Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Clippers will take on the Suns, and that series is currently tied 2-2.
According to The Athletic's Shams Charania, Paul's "isolation period could be shorter for a vaccinated individual." Paul has not publicly revealed whether he's been vaccinated. In March, he called vaccination a "personal-type decision."
The Suns completed their sweep of the Denver Nuggets on Sunday and may not have to play again until next week. The Jazz-Clippers series won't end for at least two more games (scheduled for Wednesday and Friday), and a possible Game 7 is scheduled for Sunday. That means there will be at least four to five more days of downtime for the Suns, which could help Paul miss as few games as possible.
Paul has been a vital piece for the Suns throughout the season, and that hasn't changed in the playoffs. He's averaged 15.7 points, 8.7 assists and 4.1 rebounds over 10 playoff games. He's second on the team in points per game but has a commanding lead in assists — the only person close to his average of 8.7 per game is Devin Booker, who's averaging 4.8.
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