Phoenix Suns Rumors: 2 Star Players Who Won't Be Back Next Season

It was an "embarrassing" performance by the Phoenix Suns (Kevin Durant's words), at home, in getting eliminated by the Denver Nuggets in Game 6 of their second-round series by 25 points. Heads will roll in the desert, and it's time to take a look at who won't be back next season. 

These two star players will most likely not be in a Suns uniform by the end of the summer.

Chris Paul

The veteran point guard missed the last four games of their second-round series, and injuries and diminished performance (and massive contract numbers) have certainly contributed to his downfall in Phoenix. 

According to ESPN Insider Tim MacMahon: “I would certainly anticipate they aggressively shop Chris Paul before that June 28 deadline that would guarantee his salary from $15.8 [million] to $30.8 [million]. I think it is pretty likely that Chris Paul is elsewhere next year.”

CP3 averaged a career-low 13.9 points this season at age 37, and played in just 59 games. 

Expect the Suns to look for a younger option at point guard going forward, and moving on from Paul.

Deandre Ayton

"I think it's pretty unlikely that Deandre Ayton is back... It's been like that all year long. It's been this awkward, 'we're stuck with you, you're stuck with us, we'll figure it out down the road'," added MacMahon. 

As a restricted free agent, Ayton reluctantly re-signed with the Suns last offseason after a summer of discontent, when Phoenix matched the Indiana Pacers' offer sheet. But it was obvious from the very start of training camp that he wasn't happy to be back, and it's only a matter of time before the Suns move on from Ayton.

And whether head coach Monty Williams is back is another question. But as MacMahon noted, if Kevin Durant and/or Devin Booker want him back, he'll be back. 

Photo: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports