LOS ANGELES: Chris Paul, a 12-time NBA All-Star guard, has been told he will be released by the Phoenix Suns after three seasons with the club, league telecaster TNT reported Wednesday (Thursday in Manila).

Paul, still chasing his first NBA title at age 38, would likely be among the most popular free agents despite averaging a career-low 13.9 points as well as 8.9 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 1.5 steals a game this season.

After missing the playoffs for a decade, the Suns returned in the 2020-21 campaign and reached the NBA Finals, losing to Milwaukee in six games. But Phoenix, which set a team record with 64 wins in 2021-22, was eliminated in the second round in each of the past two seasons.

Paul, who won Olympic gold with US NBA all-star squads in 2008 and 2012, is a six-time NBA steals leader and five-time NBA assists leader.

He has averaged 17.9 points, 9.5 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 2.1 steals a game over 18 NBA seasons with the New Orleans Hornets, Los Angeles Clippers, Houston Rockets, Oklahoma City Thunder and Suns.

The report came a day after the Suns confirmed the hiring of Frank Vogel as their new coach, replacing Monty Williams, who was fired last month and hired by the Detroit Pistons last week.

Vogel coached the Los Angeles Lakers to the 2020 NBA title.

Paul had two seasons remaining on his four-year deal worth $120 million and waiving him would save the Suns nearly $15 million in salary cap funds for next season.

2023-06-08T18:24:18Z dg43tfdfdgfd