Despite the ongoing contemplation of the Phoenix Suns about their future with Chris Paul, new head coach Frank Vogel expressed his intent to coach the all-time great point man.
In his recent appearance on SiriusXM NBA Radio, Vogel aired his desire to have Paul back in the team due to what he can still bring to the table. The defensive-minded coach also voiced out his willingness to help him ultimately win that elusive championship.
“Yeah. I think he’s got a great opportunity to win a championship. I know he’s very motivated by that and I’m very motivated to be the guy that helps him get there,” Vogel said about Paul, per HoopsHype. “I’m very interested in coaching Chris and Chris being back with us. I’ve communicated that to him.
“There’s just that, an intangible piece that you cannot overlook when you’re talking about a guy like Chris Paul, right? Just the toughness, the I.Q., the intelligence of just dissecting it and understanding there’s certain guys in his league that they just have a feel of knowing whatever, you know, being able to dissect a game and understand what’s happening within that game and figure out what chess pieces to move to get that win. I mean, he’s an ultimate winner and I think he’s a vital part in what we do next year.”
Breaking reports have broken out this week that Phoenix is looking to evaluate their position with Paul, as they informed his camp that they’ll look into several options that will benefit both sides. Though a retain and re-signing emerged as one probable move, there could also be a chance that the future hall of famer might see himself leaving the Valley via trade or waive beyond June 28.
Still, regardless of the age and the chunky contract that Paul owns to the franchise, Vogel is keen on handling and preserving him to be healthy and well-rounded should he finds himself back in the Suns camp
Paul played only 59 games this year, the lowest since his past two years stint in the Houston Rockets. He also averaged a career-worst 13.9 points. As such, Vogel appears holding plans already on how he can manage Paul – applying his experience as the ex-bench boss of LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers.
“Well, I think you’re gonna be smart with how much load he has, right? Not to get into that word or anything like that but, you know, he’s not gonna play 82 games, you know, first off. We’ll be intelligent with making sure that we’re not putting him in situations where he’s at risk of injury, you know, in a string of games or whatnot,” he said about how he can handle Paul’s availability and load given his long injury history.
“I feel like my time in L.A. and helping to manage LeBron at a similar stage in his career and several others that we had on the last roster that we had there. You know, I really feel like I improved as a coach in terms of improving our team without live work in practice. You know what I mean? How much quality work you get in in the film room and your walkthroughs and then no contact work on the floor where guys are getting a rhythm but still, you know, getting something out of it, whether it’s defensive rotations or offensive breakdowns of our fundamentals in our system.
“There’s a lot you can do to really improve your team without taking your guys’ legs out. And I think all those things, all those lessons of what we did the last few years in L.A. I think will benefit Chris and our whole group.”