Chris Paul’s reported plan to opt-out of his current pact to seek a new multi-year deal in the $100 million range has been met with some pushback.
Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated reported on Thursday that some NBA executives believe the more realistic figure is way below that range.
“The Chris Paul player option — $44.2 million — will be interesting to watch. Execs I’ve talked to peg CP in the three-year, $60 million-ish range on a new deal. Does Paul go for the most guaranteed money? Or does he pick up the option and bet he has another All-Star season?,” Mannix wrote.
If this is true, then there’s no reason why the New York Knicks will not join the Paul’s sweepstakes this summer.
But everything is fluid at this point especially after the 36-year old Paul‘s Game 2 performance added another layer to his legendary ‘Point God’ status.
Chris Paul is the first player with 15 PTS, 15 AST, 0 TOV in a playoff game since…
Chris Paul in 2014, who was the first player to do it since…
Chris Paul in 2008. pic.twitter.com/RNFYeCGHLL
— StatMuse (@statmuse) June 10, 2021
Unless the Phoenix Suns flame out, there’s a great chance Paul would stay in the desert.
ESPN Front Office Insider Bobby Marks weighed in and leaned on Paul staying in Phoenix.
“Opt-in and extend for another two seasons. That would be the best direction for him. He holds a ton of leverage over that organization,” Marks replied to Mannix’s report.
Paul has been perpetually linked to the Knicks ever since his former agent Leon Rose became the team’s president. It was widely reported that New York was one of his preferred destinations when Oklahoma City was shopping him in the offseason. But in the end, the Thunder opted for the Suns’ more desirable package.
Paul’s friend and former teammate Matt Barnes also intimated that the Suns’ guard would have preferred the full experience in New York.
But even with the Knicks’ surprising rise this season and their fans getting back to the Madison Square Garden, Marks believe the Suns have the upper hand if Paul opts out.
“He’s made $400M in his career. It’s all about the quality of life and winning. Phoenix has a clear advantage on both,” Marks added.
As this season and playoffs revealed, the Suns have the better roster makeup than the Knicks at this point. So the Suns would be too good to pass up for Paul especially if they overpay him.
But the Knicks’ roughly $50 million cap space can be Rose’s wildcard to convince Paul to come to New York.
Winning in New York would be more special than with a small market team.
If Paul agrees to a $20 million per, that will leave the Knicks more than enough to spend on another superstar to form their version of Big 3 with Julius Randle and a solid supporting cast led by RJ Barrett.
It will be an interesting summer if Paul opts out.
Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo