Suns owner Robert Sarver didn’t sound so sure that his star point guard Chris Paul will return next season if he leaves the final year of his contract.
Sarver left things more open than expected when you consider Paul led the Suns to their first appearance in the NBA finals since 1993. « I don’t know – it’s kind of interesting, » Sarver said on the Phoenix radio show « Burns and Gambo. »
“I had a few conversations with him after the season. I said, ‘You have only been part of the organization for nine months. There really isn’t a lot of history here. From a team perspective, it was my best season in 17 years and it was your best season in 16 years. ”So there is really a lot that holds us both together – he and the sun.
“ But he has to make a decision. A business decision, a family decision. Unfortunately not our decision. It is his decision. He has to decide whether to become a free agent or to sign his contract. We’ll know in the next three days. ”
Paul is said to receive $ 44 million in the final year of his deal. But he can still opt out and sign again to stay in the Valley of The Sun and help the team defend their Western Conference crown.
League sources believe Paul will get a three-year package of Would aim for $ 100 million. If there is enough cap space, the Knicks would be very interested, as team president Leon Rose is his former agent. The Lakers are reportedly interested in a sign-and-trade to match Paul with one of his best friends, LeBron James.
Sarver can still keep up with any deal to bring Paul back, but it sounded like he had its limits for the 36-year-old.
When asked if Paul could be on the move in any way, Sarver said, “I’m sure it probably is. Our first priority is to get him back.
« That will depend on his agent, [GM] James [Jones], and him and me. I do not know. We’ll see next week I think. «
Sarver said he had no idea if Paul is actually going to opt out, but he added, » But I know if you would ask me when we did the deal finished, if I thought if this was a decision at all, I would say no and now the time has come. He has a decision to make. He did what we thought he’d do based on his playoff game over the last few years and he was outstanding.
« Are there any other teams that would be interested? Yes, there probably is. I think he enjoyed being part of this team. And we loved having him on the team so I hope he comes back. But I haven’t got that under control today. ”
The Knicks’ lead over the Lakers is their cap room, but Paul’s two children live in Los Angeles.
When asked about the difference to the Suns at the end of the Season said Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau: “Probably Chris Paul. You add the foundation and then you bring a player like Chris into the mix. «
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