Phoenix Suns star point guard Chris Paul has entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols and is out indefinitely, jeopardizing his availability for the Western Conference finals, a source confirmed to ESPN’s Malika Andrews.
The NBA’s rules for coronavirus-related isolation periods have evolved throughout the season in correlation with increasing vaccine numbers. If Paul is already vaccinated against COVID-19, he could be facing a shorter absence from the Suns.
Phoenix swept Denver in the conference semifinals and will face either the Utah Jazz or LA Clippers in the Western Conference finals, which are scheduled to start next week. Against the Nuggets, the 36-year-old Paul averaged 25.5 points on 61.8% shooting, 58.3% from 3, 100% from the free throw line, plus a 41-to-5 assist-to-turnover ratio. The Athletic first reported Wednesday that Paul would be sidelined indefinitely as a result of entering the protocols.
This is set to be Paul’s second trip to the conference finals, along with 2018 when he was a member of the Rockets and missed Games 6 and 7 because of a hamstring injury as Houston fell in seven games to the Golden State Warriors.