KEY POINTS

  • The Phoenix Suns fell two games short of a title this year against the Milwaukee Bucks
  • Chris Paul is expected to opt out of his $44 million player option
  • His future could be with the Lakers, Sixers or Nuggets

In a finals series that will go down in history, the Phoenix Suns fell to the Milwaukee Bucks in six games.

The Suns battled throughout the series and it looked as if they were set to force a Game 7 in Phoenix, but Giannis Antetokounmpo went on an absolute tear as he exploded for 50 points and 14 rebounds to go with his five blocks en route to closing them out and his first Finals MVP.

With the Suns coming so close to their first-ever championship title, questions will now hound the franchise as to what they will do next in the offseason.

Their biggest problem going into the postseason was that of a backup big to Deandre Ayton since Dario Saric and Frank Kaminsky were more of stretch bigs rather than reliable post-up defenders.

Rookie Jalen Smith was drafted for that exact purpose, but with the Suns’ surprising run to the NBA Finals, his development took a step back this year.

However, the biggest question for Phoenix right now is out of their hands as Chris Paul has a player option worth $44.2 million.

Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams giving instructions to his players. Head coach Monty Williams of the Phoenix Suns talks with Chris Paul #3, Deandre Ayton #22, Mikal Bridges #25, Jae Crowder #99 and Devin Booker #1 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. Photo: Getty Images | Christian Petersen

There have been reports since early June that “CP3” intends to decline his player option in favor of a long-term deal according to Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report.

The Suns’ finals trip can be attributed the most to his arrival in the Valley, and it’s more than expected that managing partner Robert Sarver will do his best to keep him in Phoenix.

But should Paul leave, his most likely destination is that of the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Lakers currently don’t have a point guard going into next season as their contract negotiations with Dennis Schroder has hit a wall.

But the worry now is that Paul’s contract may be too much for them to take in as they tied most of their cap space to LeBron James and his co-star Anthony Davis.

It will take a massive sign-and-trade for him to force his way to Los Angeles that will include Montrezl Harrell, Kyle Kuzma and the aforementioned Schroder.

They can go after Kyle Lowry this offseason as well, but with him being linked to New Orleans, they might have to overpay a bit for the 35-year-old point guard.

Whether he wants to team up with James in L.A., go to another title-contending team like the Philadelphia 76ers in a sign-and-trade for Simmons or even the Brooklyn Nets in some way, only he knows what to do next.

One can even imagine that the Denver Nuggets might go for Paul as Jamal Murray heals from his ACL tear as "CP3" will still fit in well with that team as a co-playmaker with Nikola Jokic.

Fans in the Valley will want to have "CP3" on their team for another run at the title since he gels so well in Monty Williams’ system and the Suns can realistically afford his projected long-term, $100 million plus contract.

The “Point God” has complete control of his future this August, and with his championship window closing, he will want to have another crack at the title.