Chris Paul has declined his player option of $ 44.2 million for a third year, for Shams Charania of Athletic.
Paul joined Phoenix in November through a trade with the Thunder along with Abdel Nader; in return, Oklahoma City received Kelly Oubre Jr., Ricky Rubio, Ty Jerome, Jalen Lecque and a protected first-round pick from 2022. With Paul running as a point for Phoenix, second-year coach Monty Williams led the team to a 51-21 record and No. 2 seed in the Western Conference.
Even though Paul turned down his player option, there is hope, as with Kawhi Leonard and the Clippers, that he and Phoenix can work out a new deal. Via ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski:
Chris Paul has until midnight ET to decide his $ 44 million player option, but there is optimism that if he decides not to, he and the Suns may reach a new deal when free agency opens Monday night. sources told ESPN.
– Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 1, 2021
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Paul’s decision to reject his $ 44.2 million option was expected as it will allow him to renegotiate a bigger contract with the Suns. As pointed out by ESPN Bobby marks, the “38+ year rule” in the collective bargaining agreement, which dictates that teams cannot offer players a four-year contract if they turn 38 during its duration, makes Phoenix the favorite to renew Paul , who is currently 36 years old. .
If Paul chooses to leave Phoenix for a team he believes could give him a better chance of reaching the NBA Finals championship, the eleven-time All-Star made his first Finals appearance in 2021 with the Suns, who made his first appearance since then. 1993 – then another team that has cap space and interest in it is the Knicks (New York lost in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs to Trae Young and the Hawks).
Paul enjoyed his second consecutive revival season in 2020-21 with Phoenix, averaging 16.4 points, 4.5 rebounds and 8.9 assists per game with the Suns. He also averaged 19.2 points, 3.5 rebounds and 8.6 assists per game in the playoffs, falling just two games away from his first NBA Finals championship.