Chris Paul Rumors: PG Declines $44.2M Suns Contract Option, Will Enter FA

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorAugust 1, 2021

Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (3) against the Utah Jazz during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, April 30, 2021, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)
Matt York/Associated Press

Phoenix Suns point guard Chris Paul has declined his $44,211,146 player option for the 2021-22 season and will become a free agent, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium. 

Shams Charania @ShamsCharania

Phoenix Suns’ Chris Paul is declining his $44.2 million player option for the 2021-22 season and becoming an unrestricted free agent, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium.

After Charania's report, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN said "there's optimism" Paul and the Suns can reach an agreement on a new contract if the point guard hits free agency. Jordan Schultz of ESPN reported opposing teams expect Paul to re-sign with Phoenix, giving those clubs "little reason" to pursue the veteran:

Jordan Schultz @Schultz_Report

Multiple teams I’ve spoken with have said the message from Phoenix is abundantly clear that Chris Paul will re-up with the #Suns and therefore have little reason to pursue him in FA — despite the immense interest CP would command.

The 36-year-old averaged 16.4 points, 8.9 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 1.4 steals for the 51-21 Suns, who went from missing the playoffs entirely in 2019-20 to earning the Western Conference's No. 2 seed and reaching the NBA Finals, where they fell to the Milwaukee Bucks in six games. The last time Phoenix had reached the championship round was in 1992-93.

CP3 joined Phoenix in the offseason after the Oklahoma City Thunder traded him in a cost-cutting move for their rebuilding franchise.

His leadership propelled the Suns to their best regular-season finish since two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash was leading the fast-paced Phoenix offense in the mid-2000s.

Kellan Olson @KellanOlson

Suns owner Robert Sarver was asked by @BurnsAndGambo if there was anything that would prevent the Suns from keeping Chris Paul. Sarver's response: https://t.co/ZAsyckCY6D

Phoenix notably excelled on both ends of the court thanks in part to Paul, finishing the regular season with the No. 5 offensive rating, No. 9 defensive rating and No. 3 net rating, per Basketball Reference.

The 16-year veteran made his 11th All-Star Game as a result of his efforts.

Losing Paul could be a huge blow to the Suns as they look to stay within the top echelon of the Western Conference, although Phoenix still has a chance to sign him to a multiyear deal. The Suns would be wise to try to bring him back and keep their core together as they make another run at a title..


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