The Phoenix Suns' Chris Paul is out indefinitely after entering NBA coronavirus health protocols, according to reports.
The news comes as the team prepares for the Western Conference Finals after beating the Denver Nuggets in their series last week.
Breaking: Chris Paul has entered the NBA’s health and safety protocol and is out indefinitely, jeopardizing his availability for the Western Conference Finals.— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 16, 2021
The news was first reported by The Athletic and a source confirmed to ESPN. pic.twitter.com/CiZWw88sp5
The Suns confirmed Paul's status late Wednesday morning, saying: "Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul is currently out due to health and safety protocols. The next update on his status will be provided on Saturday, June 19."
The Suns are set to play the team that wins the series between the Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Clippers.
Specifics on the NBA's health protocol for Paul haven't been released. His current health condition is not known and Paul has not spoken publicly yet.
Coach Monty Williams spoke Wednesday and was asked if he has thought about the scenario of missing Chris Paul for Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals and how the lineup would change if so.
“Thankfully we’ve put ourselves in a position where we have time. But at the same time, as a coach I have to think through those scenarios I’ve thought a lot about it and we haven’t made a decision yet about it because we don’t have to but it is a process for me to not only think about who starts but the rotation after that because it can change a lot based on who you go with as a starter and how your bench rotation changes.”
Jalen Rose says Chris Paul is vaccinated so this really may be a matter of CP3 having the worst playoff luck in NBA history— Tyler Conway (@jtylerconway) June 16, 2021
That’s just heartbreaking pic.twitter.com/Nv84D8TQQi
In March, the NBA relaxed some rules for those who are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.
"The NBA is relaxing some of its health and safety protocols for individuals who are fully vaccinated, changes including fewer mandated coronavirus tests, no quarantine requirements following contact tracing issues and even the ability to visit restaurants again," an Associated Press report on the NBA site says.