Phoenix Suns point guard Chris Paul has a $44.2 million player option for the 2021-22 season, a massive potential incoming payday. But if he chooses to opt out, he won't be lacking in lucrative offers.
According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, "league sources believe Paul would seek a three-year, $100 million package" in free agency.
Suns governor Robert Sarver said he didn't know if Paul would return to Phoenix during an appearance on the Burns and Gambo radio show:
“I had some discussions with him after the season. I said, ‘You’ve only been part of the organization for nine months. There’s really not a lot of history here. From a team perspective it was my best season in 17 years and it was your best season in 16 years.’ So there’s really a lot there to keep the two of us together—the Suns and him.
“But he’s got a decision to make. A business decision, family decision. Unfortunately, it’s not our decision. It’s his decision. He’ll have to decide whether he’s going to become a free agent or opt into his contract. We’ll know that in the next three days.”
The Paul and Phoenix marriage was a fruitful one. The 36-year-old point guard helped end a Suns playoff drought dating back to the 2009-10 season. And paired with Devin Booker, DeAndre Ayton and the team's young core, Paul reached the first NBA Finals of his career, losing to the Milwaukee Bucks in six games.
Paul averaged 16.4 points, 8.9 assists and 4.5 rebounds per game while shooting 49.9 percent from the field and 39.5 percent from three. He showed little sign of slowing down anytime soon.
And he'll have suitors. Berman reported that the New York Knicks will be "keenly interested," while the Los Angeles Lakers have interest in a sign-and-trade that would pair CP3 with his good friend LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
The Knicks have the cap space to sign Paul. A sign-and-trade with the Lakers would be far more complicated and borderline unfeasible, given L.A.'s cap constraints. And of course, a return to Phoenix—or perhaps a surprise suitor emerging that could give Paul a chance to win the title—is always a possibility.