Chris Paul is 36 years old. He’s still playing at a high level, but a recent nagging shoulder injury puts his future – particularly surrounding his contract – in question.
Paul has a $44.4 million player option he can pick up with the Phoenix Suns at the end of this season. But according to a new report, he may choose to decline the option in light of a longer contract.
NBA insider Eric Pincus reports Paul “intends to decline” his $44.4 million player option in hopes he can land a longer deal worth upwards of $100 million. Pincus did note Paul’s recent nagging shoulder injury could persuade him to choose the player option, instead.
In the scenario Paul declines the option and bets on himself in free agency, his days with the Phoenix Suns could be numbered. Phoenix is already facing a pivotal off-season in which both DeAndre Ayton and Mikal Bridges will be eligible for extensions.
“[Chris] Paul has a $44.4 million player option, which according to several sources, he intends to decline with hopes of inking a new multiyear deal (perhaps in the $100 million range over three seasons),” Pincus writes, via Bleacher Report. “It’s unclear if his recent shoulder injury changes his plans. Gordon Hayward, who has battled more severe injuries than Paul, made a similar decision this past offseason, opting out of his final year with the Boston Celtics to sign a four-year, $120 million contract with the Charlotte Hornets.”
What Chris Paul, and potentially the Phoenix Suns, decides to do will likely depend on how the rest of the postseason shakes out.
The Suns are one game away from eliminating the Los Angeles Lakers from the playoffs. Paul is a massive reason why. In games he’s been healthy, Paul has absolutely shredded the Lakers’ long, yet slow defense.
If Paul believes he can win a championship with Phoenix, he’ll probably find a way to stay, whether it be through the player option or one last long-term contract.