The Phoenix Suns ultimately came up short in the NBA Finals against the Milwaukee Bucks, falling 4-2 in their best-of-seven series.
By any objective measure Chris Paul was the biggest difference-maker for the Suns from start to finish. In the regular season, he averaged 16.4 points on nearly 50 percent shooting from the field and 40 percent shooting from beyond the arc, along with 8.9 assists and 4.5 rebounds per outing. In the playoffs, those numbers turned into 19.2 points on the same field goal percentage and 44.6 percent shooting from beyond the arc, along with 8.6 assists and 3.5 rebounds per outing.
Even in the Finals, where Paul objectively didn’t feel like a difference-maker for the majority of Phoenix’s losses against Milwaukee, he still averaged 21.8 points on 55 percent shooting from the field and 52.5 percent shooting from beyond the arc, along with 8.2 assists and 2.7 rebounds per outing.
Needless to say, Paul’s stock rose tremendously heading into the offseason.
The 36-year-old is currently entering the final year of his contract and is set to earn $44.2 million in 2021-22. Paul, however, wants a new deal that will pay him less annually – but over multiple years.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like that move will come to fruition. On Tuesday, Paul sent out a tweet that signaled pretty clearly his intention to remain with the Suns.
— Chris Paul (@CP3) July 27, 2021
With Paul effectively off the board, the Suns can now mentally prepare to go into next season with a roster that came within two games of winning a title this past year.
The Lakers, meanwhile, will likely switch their attention to finalizing a deal for Washington Wizard star Russell Westbrook.
Which team will ultimately win the West in 2021-22? Time will tell.
That’s one way to celebrate a birthday. https://t.co/kR0Coa801w
— Game 7 (@game7__) July 28, 2021