PHOENIX SUNS

Chris Paul contract details: A Suns salary cap and roster update

Aug 5, 2021, 12:15 PM | Updated: 9:25 pm
Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul, right, is defended by Milwaukee Bucks guard Jrue Holiday during the ...

Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul, right, is defended by Milwaukee Bucks guard Jrue Holiday during the second half of Game 2 of basketball's NBA Finals, Thursday, July 8, 2021, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

(AP Photo/Matt York)

Exact dollar figures of Chris Paul’s contract that could reach up to $120 million over four years remain undisclosed.

However, we do have a few more details to understand how the Suns protected themselves while incentivizing Paul.

According to Arizona Sports’ John Gambadoro, the third year of Paul’s deal is partially guaranteed — about $15 million worth. The final season, in which Paul would end the year as a 40-year-old, is a team option.

The third year has approximately $15 million in guarantees, and considering his average annual salary is around $30 million, that puts his total deal at $75 million in total if he only played out two more seasons in Phoenix (2021-22 and 2022-23), per Gambadoro.

Paul would reach around $90 million in earnings after three full years, then $120 million if the Suns bring him back to play out the deal. That would seemingly be a long-shot considering he is only one of three players (LeBron James, Dirk Nowitzki) who have signed contracts for $25 million or more per year past the age of 35.

As for this season, Phoenix has so far signed Paul, backup point guard Cam Payne, wing Abdel Nader, big Frank Kaminsky and veteran center JaVale McGee.

Gambadoro confirmed that the team indeed used a chunk of the non-tax-payer midlevel exception to sign McGee on a one-year, $5 million contract.

That leaves them with these financial weapons with 13 players now under contract:

— The remaining midlevel exception money of about $4.5 million from the pool of $9.5 million.

— A bi-annual exception of $3.7 million (this is available because the Suns did not use it last year).

— Veteran’s minimum deals. Their value is dependent on how long a player has been in the league.

It’s unclear if the Suns and general manager James Jones will try to stay under the $136.6 million luxury tax threshold this season, but it’s possible they still can, even by using the above three items.

How doable that is, again, depends on the exact dollar amount on the new deals agreed upon since Monday. Paul’s new deal alone could be a several million-dollar difference depending on if it escalates or descalates.

Phoenix can also, at some point, apply for a disabled player exception for big man Dario Saric, whose ACL injury suffered in July could give them about half of his $8.5 million deal to spent on another player. The NBA must approve that move, and the Suns have yet to apply.

There are currently 13 players under contract or with agreed-upon deals as of Tuesday afternoon. The Suns can sign up to two more, not including two-way players.

Here’s a look at the depth chart as of Tuesday:

PG: Chris Paul, Cam Payne

SG: Devin Booker, Landry Shamet

SF: Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, Abdel Nader

PF: Jae Crowder, Jalen Smith

C: Deandre Ayton, JaVale McGee, Frank Kaminsky, (Dario Saric)

What more is there left to uncover about the sustainability of this Suns team?

Well, potential contract extensions to Deandre Ayton and Mikal Bridges loom. If they are agreed upon and the numbers are known, it will be easier to project how much over the luxury tax Phoenix will be in the coming seasons after each of their rookie contracts end in 2021-22.

What we know now, though, is that the Suns at least put a partial guarantee on Paul’s massive deal in 2023-24.

As of now, it appears the 2022-23 season will be a surely pricey one if they keep this core together. There seem to be solid protections after that.

Comments

Comment guidelines: No name-calling, personal attacks, profanity, or insults. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate comments by reporting abuse.
comments powered by Disqus

Phoenix Suns

Phoenix Suns forward Mikal Bridges, left, drives past Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. in ...
Kevin Zimmerman

NBA players give congrats after Mikal Bridges agrees to contract extension with Suns

Donovan Mitchel, C.J. McCollum and other players gave congrats after Mikal Bridges inked a contract extension with the Phoenix Suns.
21 hours ago
Mikal Bridges #25 of the Phoenix Suns takes a free-throw shot against the Milwaukee Bucks in game t...
Arizona Sports

Mikal Bridges and Suns agree to 4-year, $90 million extension

The Phoenix Suns have agreed to terms with forward Mikal Bridges on a four-year, $90 million contract extension, his agents told ESPN.
21 hours ago
Phoenix Suns coach Monty Williams, right, talks with guard Cameron Payne during the first half of t...
Kellan Olson

Phoenix Suns keeping practice gym lively leading up to season opener

The Phoenix Suns are using the right balance in their week of practices between the preseason and regular season.
2 days ago
Phoenix Suns guard Chasson Randle (4) passes as Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ Elleby (16) looks o...
Wills Rice

Phoenix Suns waive guard Chasson Randle, putting roster at 15 players

With the regular season ready to tip-off on Wednesday, the Phoenix Suns waived guard Chasson Randle on Saturday, the team announced.
2 days ago
Mikal Bridges #25 of the Phoenix Suns reacts to a three-point shot against the Brooklyn Nets during...
Kellan Olson

Mikal Bridges waiting like all of us for potential contract extension with Suns

When Phoenix Suns wing Mikal Bridges was discussing a potential new contract extension on Friday, a word he kept coming back to was waiting.
3 days ago
Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) drives to the basket between Phoenix Suns center...
Kevin Zimmerman

ESPN’s Marks: Suns deserve F grade if they don’t extend Ayton or Bridges

ESPN's Bobby Marks finds the lack of an extension for Mikal Bridges or Deandre Ayton concerning days before the deadline.
3 days ago
Chris Paul contract details: A Suns salary cap and roster update