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Report: Suns' Chris Paul 'Actively Pursued' by USA Basketball for Tokyo Olympics

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJune 19, 2021

AP Photo/David Zalubowski

Phoenix Suns point guard Chris Paul is being "actively pursued" by USA Basketball for a spot on the Olympic team.

Marc Stein of the New York Times provided more information:

Marc Stein @TheSteinLine

With or without an ultimate commitment from Paul to join Bradley Beal, Draymond Green, Damian Lillard and Jayson Tatum, USAB officials have pursued CP3 and others still in the playoffs, comfortable that not all of the final 12-man roster would report for training camp on July 6.

Paul, 36, averaged 16.4 points, 8.9 assists and 4.5 rebounds for the 51-21 Suns, who just finished a four-game sweep of the Denver Nuggets to advance to the Western Conference Finals.

The 11-time All-Star has represented Team USA twice on the Olympic stage (2008, 2012), winning gold on each occasion.

It's easy to see why Team USA would be interested in having him onboard.

Paul notably played an integral part in the Suns' massive turnaround.  Phoenix went 33-39 in 2019-20 but improved by 18 wins this year thanks in part to the play of Paul, who the Suns acquired from the Oklahoma City Thunder in an offseason trade. Now Phoenix is in the Western Conference Finals for the first time since 2010.

Paul also finished the year with an All-NBA Second Team selection.

As Stein noted, however, Paul's availability is a factor here. The opening ceremony for the Tokyo Summer Olympics is scheduled for July 23, with men's basketball slated for a July 25 start.

If the Suns make the NBA Finals, they could potentially be playing until July 22, which is when Game 7 (if necessary) would occur.

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