Suns Notes: Booker, Payne, CP3, Lee, Washington

Suns guard Devin Booker is expected to return to action as soon as Tuesday against the Nets, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Booker hasn’t played since Christmas Day due to a left groin strain, but was reevaluated on Wednesday and was said by the Suns to be “game-to-game” at that point.

Booker has already been ruled out for Friday’s game in Boston and it sounds like he won’t be back for Saturday’s contest in Detroit, but Wojnarowski suggests the standout guard could return to the court for the third game of Phoenix’s road trip, on Tuesday in Brooklyn. Booker said on Wednesday that he felt like he was “rounding third (base),” as Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic tweets.

Unfortunately for the Suns, it will still be a little longer before they get another key backcourt piece back. As Rankin writes, the club announced on Friday that Cameron Payne (right foot sprain) continues to make progress in his recovery but will be out at least one more week before being reevaluated.

Here’s more on the Suns:

  • The Suns have been linked to a handful of point guards in the weeks leading up to the trade deadline, including Fred VanVleet and D’Angelo Russell, but that doesn’t mean they’re considering the idea of trading current starter Chris Paul, as ESPN’s Zach Lowe stated on his Lowe Post podcast. “Let me be clear, I don’t think they’re trading Chris Paul,” Lowe said, per RealGM. “I’ve heard nothing about trading Chris Paul. In fact, I’ve heard the opposite.”
  • Discussing the Suns’ decision to cut Duane Washington Jr. in order to bring back Saben Lee on a two-way contract after Lee’s second 10-day deal expired, head coach Monty Williams said that there will some “financial implications” in play, tweets Rankin. Phoenix has an open spot on its 15-man roster, but is well above the luxury tax line — two-way salaries don’t count against the cap or tax.
  • Gerald Bourguet of shares five of his takeaways from the Lee/Washington roster swap, exploring why the Suns were willing to let Washington go and considering whether the club’s decision to retain Lee is a reason to be concerned about Payne’s status.
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