All-Star point guard Chris Paul reportedly "entertained" a three-year, $100 million offer from the New Orleans Pelicans in free agency before opting to re-sign with the Phoenix Suns on a four-year, $120 million contract.
"And Chris Paul, who [the Pelicans] offered $100 million from what I understand," ESPN's Brian Windhorst reported on his Hoop Collective podcast (via RealGM). "It helped convince Phoenix to give him at least [a] partially guaranteed fourth year. ... I think Chris entertained it for some period of time."
Paul played a pivotal role in helping the Suns make their first NBA Finals appearance since 1993.
The 36-year-old Wake Forest product averaged 16.4 points, 8.9 assists and 4.5 rebounds across 70 appearances during the regular season after being acquired in a November trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder. He put up 19.2 points per game in 20 contests during the team's playoff run.
"We're going to process this and figure this out. I think everything else will take care of itself. I'm confident that we will be able to have a conversation hopefully in the coming days that will make everyone happy," Paul told reporters after the Finals about his future in Phoenix.
The four-time All-NBA first-team selection started his NBA career with six seasons in New Orleans when the franchise was known as the Hornets. He then made stops with the Los Angeles Clippers, Houston Rockets and Thunder before landing with the Suns.
It sounds like a potential return to NOLA, where he could have teamed up with Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram, at least caused him to take a pause before signing on to stick with Phoenix.
That said, it would have qualified as a significant surprise if Paul departed the Suns after they just showed their championship window is wide-open. They won the first two games of the Finals before losing four straight to Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks.
His return allows Phoenix to pick up right where it left off when next season opens, as almost all of its key contributors—a group that also features Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton and Mikal Bridges—remain under contract for the 2021-22 campaign.
Meanwhile, the Pelicans added Devonte' Graham to share ball-handling duties with Eric Bledsoe following Lonzo Ball's departure for the Chicago Bulls.
New Orleans could still benefit from adding another wing scorer either via trade or free agency if it wants to make a serious charge up the Western Conference standings next season.