Chris Paul Rumors: 'Belief' in NBA Is PG Stays with Suns After Westbrook-Lakers Trade

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJuly 30, 2021

MILWAUKEE, WI - JULY 20: Chris Paul #3 of the Phoenix Suns looks on during Game Six of the 2021 NBA Finals on July 20, 2021 at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

Despite likely having plenty of options around the NBA this offseason, Chris Paul is reportedly expected to remain with the Phoenix Suns.

"The feeling within the league now is that Chris Paul is going to stay put in Phoenix," ESPN's Brian Windhorst said on The Hoop Collective podcast (h/t RealGM). "The belief is Chris Paul will not ever be on the open market."

Paul has a $44.2 million player option for 2020-21, but he can also opt out and still sign a new deal with the Suns.

The 36-year-old helped Phoenix reach the NBA Finals last season in his first year with the team, completing a major turnaround for a franchise that had gone 10 straight seasons without a playoff appearance before he arrived.

Paul ended last season averaging 16.4 points, 8.9 assists and 4.5 rebounds and was named to an All-NBA team for the 10th time in his career. 

It's enough to make the 6-foot Wake Forest product one of the top names in free agency, with Marc Berman of the New York Post reporting he would seek a three-year, $100 million deal. Berman added the New York Knicks would be interested along with the Los Angeles Lakers, although the latter is almost certainly out of the running after adding Russell Westbrook.

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Lakers acquired Westbrook in a trade with the Washington Wizards on Thursday, giving up Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and the No. 22 overall draft pick (later flipped to the Indiana Pacers, per Wojnarowski).

While there will likely be other contenders to sign Paul, the Suns will hope to keep him around and build off last year's success.

Phoenix has a lot of talent between Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton, Mikal Bridges and others, but Paul brought an important veteran process to get the team over the top. Retaining the point guard could go a long way toward keeping this squad a title contender.