Just month removed from helping spearhead the Phoenix Suns’ run to the NBA Finals, Chris Paul is three games into his 16th season in the league. After stops in New Orleans, Los Angeles, Houston, and Oklahoma City, all of which made playoff appearances during his tenure, Paul said Phoenix stands out among the rest.
“Man, this is probably one of the best locker room that I’ve been in my whole career,” Paul told Yahoo Sports. “Because we have young guys that are leaders and everybody leads in their own different ways. We communicate, we talk. It’s a real family over here. You celebrate the guys that got paid this summer.”
One teammate yet to be paid the money he’s earned, however, is center Deandre Ayton, despite his third-year breakout and consderable in-season strides. Paul said he and Ayton talked about the big man’s contract situation and that Ayton “knows what he has to do.”
“The goal for everybody is to see everyone getting paid,” Paul said. “His situation is what it is, but it’s going to work out for him. We hope it works out for him. The biggest thing we know we can do is go out there and win games.”
Ayton should be playing out this season with the security of a new deal awaiting him. But at the very least, wisdom and encouragement from a leader like Paul might offer some reassurance that a big contract is coming soon.