Chris Paul to decline $44.2 million player option, become unrestricted free agent, per report

The Phoenix Suns were one of the biggest surprises of the 2020-21 NBA season as they made their way through the Western Conference and advanced to the NBA Finals. While they received contributions from players up and down their roster, it was the addition of Chris Paul that most pointed to as the move that took what was a promising, young roster and pushed them over the top. 

Now, with free agency looming, Paul is looking to cash in on his play during the 2020-21 campaign and secure a long-term contract. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Paul has declined his $44.2 million player option for the 2021-22 season, making him an unrestricted free agent. 

It remains to be seen what the market will look like for Paul once free agency opens on Aug. 2, or if the veteran point guard is interesting in looking elsewhere within the league as he negotiates his next contract. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN is reporting that the Suns are optimistic they can reach a new deal with the All-Star point guard. 

However, it is safe to assume that Paul will make a major impact wherever he winds up signing as he starred during his first season with the Suns owning averages of 16.4 points, 8.9 assists and 4.5 rebounds per game. 

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