After declining his $44 million player option for then 2021-22 season, 13-year veteran Chris Paul will reportedly return to the Phoenix Suns after agreeing to a long-term deal with the 2021 Western Conference Champions. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the deal will be worth as much as $120 million over the next four years.
While the length of the contract has caused reasonable concern due to Paul’s age (36), FS1’s Ric Bucher reports that the third season of Paul’s contract is partially guaranteed while the final year is non-guaranteed.
One of the most decorated players of all-time, Paul’s trade to the Suns last season was seen as the primary catalyst for the team’s impressive run to the 2021 NBA Finals. Though Paul, Devin Booker and the Suns would eventually fall to Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks in six games, Phoenix proved themselves to be a formidable opponent from the start of the 2020-21 season to the finish.
The Suns obviously hope to recreate that magic by bringing back a point guard with a reputation for being as tough as he is intelligent, and as talented a player as he is dedicated to being a leader.
Paul averaged 16.4 points, 8.9 assists and 1.4 steals per game last season while shooting 49.9 percent from the field and 39.5 percent from 3-point range. In the postseason, Paul would average 19.2 points, 8.6 assists and 1.2 steals per game while shooting 49.7 percent from the field and 44.6 percent from deep.