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:
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.
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..