Chris Paul Says Free Agency Uncertain, 'Ain't Retiring' After Suns' Loss to Bucks

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVJuly 21, 2021

Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul tries to pass around Milwaukee Bucks forward Khris Middleton during the first half of Game 6 of basketball's NBA Finals in Milwaukee, Tuesday, July 20, 2021. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
AP Photo/Paul Sancya

Chris Paul, 36, has a player option for the 2021-22 campaign on his contract and isn't sure how he will proceed in the immediate aftermath of the Phoenix Suns' loss to the Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA Finals. 

"I don't know, we just lost a few minutes ago," he told reporters after Tuesday's Game 6. "Right now, we're gonna process this and figure this out. I think everything else will take care of itself."

He also said, "I ain't retiring, if that's what you're asking. So back to work."

The Suns couldn't have asked for much more from Paul after they acquired him via trade prior to the 2020-21 season.

He averaged 16.4 points, 8.9 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game while providing veteran leadership and clutch plays. The organization made the playoffs for the first time since the 2009-10 season, and he was named to the All-NBA Second Team while making his 11th career All-Star Game.

It appeared as if Paul would get the first championship of his legendary career when the Suns went up 2-0 on the Bucks in the Finals, but Milwaukee came charging back behind Giannis Antetokounmpo's individual brilliance and won four straight.

Paul did what he could in Tuesday's 105-98 loss and finished with 26 points and five assists.

However, he didn't receive enough help, as Deandre Ayton battled foul trouble and was just 4-of-12 from the field, and Devin Booker shot 8-of-22 from the field with six turnovers. That wasn't nearly enough to keep up with Antetokounmpo's 50 points on the other side.

Phoenix would likely be on the short list of realistic title contenders again next season if Paul returns, but he wasn't quite ready to make a decision right after losing such a difficult series.