The Pheonix Suns went further than they ever hoped for thanks to the Chris Paul trade, reaching the NBA Finals and seeing Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton take huge steps forward in their careers. With CP3 facing the opportunity to test the open market this summer, Phoenix might retain its star point guard.
Paul joined the Suns with many anticipating he could turn a young roster into a playoff contender. Phoenix blew past expectations, earning the No. 2 seed in the conference and taking a 2-0 lead in the NBA Finals before the Milwaukee Bucks took the series.
Entering his age-36 season, it’s anticipated that Paul will decline his $44.2 million option for the upcoming season. While the future Hall of Fame point guard will have plenty of championship contenders to choose from, he might not leave Phoenix.
According to Bleacher Report’s NBA inside Jake Fischer, it’s widely viewed around the league that Paul is “all but destined” to re-sign with the Suns. Many anticipate he’ll sign a new contract worth at least $90-plus million over three seasons.
- Chris Paul stats (2020-’21 season): 16.4 points, 8.9 assists, 1.4 steals per game, 9.2 Win Shares
It would be fantastic news for the Suns, who enter the offseason near the top of Sportsnaut’s NBA power rankings. Not only would it allow them to remain championship contenders for several more years, but it also greatly benefits the team’s young core.
Ayton showed tremendous growth under the direction of Paul’s leadership and wisdom. The 6-foot-11 center shot 62.6 percent from the field this past season, averaging 14.4 points, 10.5 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game. But he really emerged as a rising force in the NBA Playoffs.
- Deandre Ayton playoff stats: 15.8 ppg, 11.8 rpg, 1.1 blocks per game, 65.8% from the field
With Ayton headed for a max contract this summer and Booker elevating his game in a more comfortable role, the Suns have the stars and surrounding talent to return to the NBA Finals next year if Paul re-signs.