Chris Paul helped lead the Phoenix Suns to their first NBA Finals since 1993 this past season. Most assumed this alone bought him enough goodwill to get something of a blank check for his next deal.
Paul is currently entering the final year of his contract. He is set to earn $44.2 million, but wants to restructure his deal to get more total money at a lesser annual amount.
By all accounts, Paul is looking for something in the three-year, $100 million range.
According to Suns insider Kellan Olson, team owner Robert Sarver recently expressed some trepidation regarding giving Paul the sort of deal he clearly wants.
Sarver was essentially asked, point blank, does he foresee any potential roadblocks in re-signing Paul.
“Eh, I don’t know, I’m sure there probably is,” Sarver responded. “But I think our first priority would be to try and get him back, but that’ll depend on his agent and (Suns GM) James (Jones) and him and me and all that kind of stuff so I don’t know. We’ll see next week I guess, right?”
Paul, an 11-time All-Star, had a fantastic year for Phoenix. In the regular season he put up 16.4 points on 49 percent shooting from the field and 40 percent shooting from three, plus 8.9 assists and 4.5 rebounds per game.
In the postseason those figures turned into 19.2 points on 49 percent shooting from the field and 44.6 percent shooting from three, plus 8.6 assists and 3.5 rebounds per game.
That’s one way to celebrate a birthday. https://t.co/kR0Coa801w
— Game 7 (@game7__) July 28, 2021
Even in the Finals, when Paul clearly didn’t play consistently well against the Milwaukee Bucks, he still put up 21.8 points on 55 percent shooting from the field and 52.5 percent shooting from three, plus 8.2 assists and 2.7 rebounds per game.
Is that production enough to earn him another deal from the Suns? That’s the $100 million question.
If Phoenix doesn’t step up to the plate, there is another championship contender with an extremely legitimate desire to add him. In addition, the New York Knicks remain a very real threat to swoop in and steal Paul away.
Paul, for his part, has made his preferred locale next year abundantly clear. Whether he ultimately ends up getting what he wants or not remains to be seen.