Chris Paul did little to hide his disappointment after the Phoenix Suns lost to the Milwaukee Bucks in six games in the NBA Finals. While his future will be in question this offseason, CP3 eliminated retirement from the list quickly.
“Get back to work. I ain’t retiring…”— Dime (@DimeUPROXX) July 21, 2021
Chris Paul after losing Game 6. pic.twitter.com/exjHrES5BP
Now that the Finals are over, Phoenix’s offseason will be very busy working on rookie extensions for Deandre Ayton and Mikal Bridges. Suns backup point guard Cameron Payne will be a free agent as well. But Phoenix’s priorities start with the upcoming decisions of their starting point guard, Chris Paul. Paul can opt-out of $44.2 million player option for next season and become an unrestricted free agent.
CP3’s averages of 16.4 points, 8.9 assists and 4.5 rebounds for the Suns during his All-Star season helped Phoenix end a playoff drought that lasted a decade. He now has until August 1st to decide whether to opt-in and sign an extension once the free agency moratorium is lifted on August 6th or pursue other options like requesting a sign and trade. If he signs with Phoenix, he can only extend his contract for two years due to the NBA’s “Over 38” rule.
Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson shared his opinions on Chris Paul’s next move on Twitter.
If Chris Paul opts out of his contract with the Suns, his first call should be from his best friend LeBron James and the Lakers.— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) July 21, 2021
According to ESPN’s The Undefeated, the Los Angeles Lakers have been on the hunt for a replacement for Dennis Schroder and Paul is on the short list. Rumors also link Wizards star Russell Westbrook being a potential sign-and-trade deal that may include Dennis Schroder, Kyle Kuzma and Talen Horton-Tucker.
To get Chris Paul in a Lakers uniform, it would likely take a sign-and-trade with the Suns. The most money the Lakers can offer otherwise is a $9.5 million taxpayer midlevel exception. But the opportunity to chase his first championship with LeBron James and Anthony Davis will keep the rumors alive until August.