Chris Paul thinks green.
The Suns Point Guard intends to “reject” its $44.2 million player option for the 2021-22 period to chase a bigger payday and multi-year deal as a free agent this summer, According to a Bleacher report, which speculated that Paul might seek a deal in the $100 million range over three seasons.
One of the teams that could be keeping an eye on Paul is the Knicks, who are in dire need of a goalkeeper and star alongside Julius Randle. The Knicks will have $60 million in cover space as they look to add to a roster that this season has produced an astonishing 41-31 record and first-team playoff appearance since 2013.
Knicks boss Leon Rose is Paul’s former agent and has a great relationship.
“I was excited,” Paul Said in March 2020 When Rose left Creative Artists Agency to become Knicks president. “I was as surprised as everyone else. [Rose] He’s been with me for a long time through a lot of different things, and I couldn’t be happier for him and his family.”
Coach Tom Thibodeau, in late April, praised Paul as he discussed the base’s decision to join the Suns.
“I’ve watched it for a long time,” Tibodo said. “You always think about when that time of year comes all the possibilities. You think who can fit into the team. You have to work both ways.”
With a player like Paul, Tibodou continued, “You look at the stage he’s at in his career, he’s looking for what works best for him. He’s got it. [to play for the Suns]. …but Chris is a smart, thoughtful guy and will think things through so that’s the way free agency goes. ”
Although Paul has been the driver behind the Suns’ turnaround and the current qualifying round – they’ve gone 2-0 up in the second-round series against the Nuggets – his age could dampen any hopes of the nine-figure decade.
He turned 36 in May, a potential red flag for a long-term deal, as is his injury history, particularly in the post-season. Paul plays through a nagging shoulder injury in the conference semi-finals.
Paul will emerge from his 11th All-Star pick and finish fifth in the MVP voting in 2020-21.
Some NBA executives expected Paul’s next deal to fall within three years, the $60 million, According to Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated.
Veteran Paul’s presence and guidance brought about a much-needed cultural shift in Phoenix. Devin Booker, Tori Craig and Jay Crowder, along with rising stars of Dander Eaton and Michal Bridges, benefited from Paul’s leadership. How far he can take the Suns can influence his decision. A contract in the $100 million range would be more feasible if Paul was out of the NBA Championship or even the World Cup Finals.
Other rangers joining Free Agency this summer include Mike Conley (Jazz), Dennis Schroeder (Lakers), Kyle Lowry (Raptors), and Goran Dragic (Heat) as unrestricted free agents. Pelican Guard Lonzo Ball will be a restricted free agent.
Nets goalkeeper Spencer Dinwiddie, who has been rehabilitating a partial right-wing ACL rupture that he suffered three games into the season, could also hit the free agent market if he chooses to cancel his contract. Dinwiddie could make $12 million if he commits to the Nets next season.