Paul has missed the previous 15 games with a fractured right thumb. Of course, the Suns kept chugging right along, winning 11 of those. They enter Thursday at at NBA-best record of 59-14 and are one win away from clinching the No. 1 overall seed in the playoffs.
Paul, 36, was originally expected to miss six-to-eight weeks after suffering the injury on Feb. 16. So should he actually return, he’ll be ahead of schedule.
Through 58 games, Paul is averaging 14.9 points, 4.5 rebounds and a league-leading 10.7 assists. He has already been the NBA’s assist champ on four occasions.
Cameron Payne has been starting in place of Paul, faring well, and once Paul returns, Payne will give the defending Western Conference champions even more depth.