Report: Chris Paul opts out of final year with Suns, will become free agent

Aug 1, 2021, 2:44 PM | Updated: 8:25 pm
Chris Paul #3 of the Phoenix Suns reacts in the second half of game five of the NBA Finals against ...
Chris Paul #3 of the Phoenix Suns reacts in the second half of game five of the NBA Finals against the Milwaukee Bucks at Footprint Center on July 17, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Bucks defeated the Suns 123-119. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

With NBA Free Agency beginning August 2, another big name has hit the open market.

Phoenix Suns point guard Chris Paul has opted out of the final year of his contract, making him a free agent, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports both Paul and the Suns are “motivated to negotiate a new deal” to keep him in Phoenix once the free agency period begins at 3 p.m. MST Monday.

Paul was set to make $44.2 million this year as part of the final year of a four-year contract he signed with the Houston Rockets prior to the 2018 season.

Phoenix acquired the veteran point guard before the 2020-21 season, dealing Kelly Oubre Jr., Ricky Rubio, Ty Jerome, Jalen Lecque and a 2022 first-round pick to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

In Paul’s first season with the team, the Suns returned to the playoffs for the first time in more than a decade and made the NBA Finals for the first time since 1993 but fell short to the Milwaukee Bucks.

Paul played 70 games during the regular season, averaging 16.4 points per game, adding 4.5 rebounds and 8.9 assists. He made Second Team All-NBA and the All-Star team.

The Suns finished the regular season with a 51-21 record, the best in the Pacific Division and second in the Western Conference.

In their run to the NBA Finals, Paul’s first time ever making it there in his 16-year career, he played in 20 playoff games for the Suns, averaging 19 points and 8.9 assists an outing.

It was a rocky playoffs health-wise for Paul, who dealt with a shoulder injury at the start, was placed in COVID-19 protocols during the Western Conference Finals against the Los Angeles Clippers and also had issues with his hand and wrist.

Paul is one of the best point guards of all time and will be a first-ballot Hall of Famer. He made 11 All-Star Games, earned eight First Team All-Defense nods and 10 All-NBA teams.

In the all-time statistical rankings, Paul is fifth in total assists and steals.

Penguin Air

Phoenix Suns

Follow @KellanOlson...
Kellan Olson

ASU product Josh Christopher stars in Rockets’ schedule release skit

Every year, there is going to be a team that releases its schedule in a unique way. Sometimes they hit. Sometimes they don't.
16 hours ago
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, left, drives as Phoenix Suns forward Cameron Johnson defen...
Associated Press

Reports: LeBron James signs 2-year extension with L.A. Lakers

LeBron James has reportedly agreed to a two-year, $97.1 million contract extension through the 2024-25 season with the L.A. Lakers,
2 days ago
Jae Crowder #99, Chris Paul #3, Mikal Bridges #25 and Cameron Payne #15 of the Phoenix Suns react d...
Kellan Olson

Initial impressions, observations from Phoenix Suns’ 2022-23 schedule

A few areas of the Phoenix Suns' 82-game schedule we can spotlight to keep an eye on throughout the regular season.
2 days ago
Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns celebrates with Deandre Ayton #22 during the first half of Game...
Arizona Sports

Phoenix Suns’ 2022-23 schedule includes 22 national TV games

The Phoenix Suns' 2022-23 regular season schedule dropped on Wednesday highlighted by 22 games on ABC, ESPN or TNT, plus 12 more on NBATV.
2 days ago
(Screenshot/Bally Sports)...
Arizona Sports

Bally Sports+ streaming service announces launch date in September

Bally Sports announced the launch of a new streaming service for the Suns, Coyotes and regional college sports coming Sept. 26.
2 days ago
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver speaks at the start of the the NBA basketball draft, Thursday, June 23...
Associated Press

2022-23 NBA schedule clears Election Day of games

The NBA's schedule for the coming season will have all 30 teams playing on Nov. 7, the night before the midterm elections.
3 days ago
Report: Chris Paul opts out of final year with Suns, will become free agent