Chris Paul is reportedly set to become one of the biggest names on the NBA’s free agency market.
The Phoenix Suns point guard is reportedly not expected to opt into the final year of his contract, worth more than $44 million in 2021-22.
Paul has until midnight to make a decision. However, NBA insider Shams Charania is reporting that a decision has been made.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 1, 2021
ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski, meanwhile, reports that there is optimism that Paul will be back in Phoenix.
Chris Paul has until midnight ET to decide on his $44M player option, but there’s optimism that if he does decide against picking it up that he and the Suns can reach a new deal when free agency opens on Monday night, sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 1, 2021
Paul could sign a three year, $90 million extension with the Suns when free agency begins if he opts out of his contract. This would still give the Suns some room to add an additional piece or two following their NBA Finals loss.
Phoenix would have $15.4 million available before reaching the luxury tax if Chris Paul signed a 3-year, $90 million extension + Cam Payne re-signed for the max allowed annual value of $10.5 million per year.
That’s enough space for the full MLE, plus another solid depth piece.
— Evan Sidery (@esidery) August 1, 2021
Of course, Paul could have other suitors. The Lakers have consistently been linked to Paul, however, it’s difficult to envision them clearing enough cap space to sign him. The Knicks are another team that has been mentioned for the longtime star point guard.
But Phoenix has to be the favorite. The Suns are coming off a very successful playoff run and have several building blocks for the future.
Aside from the obvious that he reached his first Finals with the Suns this year, anyone who's heard Chris Paul rant and rave about his teammates is not surprised by this https://t.co/3n06RkEAWl
— Gerald Bourguet (@GeraldBourguet) August 1, 2021
NBA free agency begins on Monday night.