Give David Griffin and the Pelicans this: They swung for the fences this summer. They may have struck out more than Jim Thome, but they took their cuts.
One of those swings apparently was for Chris Paul — and that gave CP3 the leverage to get a fourth year out of the Suns, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said on the “Hoop Collective” podcast (hat tip CBS Sports).
“Chris Paul, who [New Orleans] offered $100 million from what I understand. It helped convince Phoenix to give him at least [a] partially guaranteed fourth year… I think Chris entertained it for some period of time.”
How seriously did Paul entertain it? Good question. The bottom line is when Paul’s four-year, up to $120 million new contract with the Suns was announced, a few eyebrows around the league went up. Three years was the expected number for the 36-year-old future Hall of Famer, in the $90-$100 million range. The fourth year was a surprise.
The way the deal reportedly has been structured makes more sense for the Suns, with two fully guaranteed years, only $15 million of the third year guaranteed, and the fourth year is a team option. Paul may have leveraged a fourth year, but the Suns don’t have to pick it up (and if they do it means he’s still an important contributor to a contender and worth it). The new deal also worked for Paul, who had one guaranteed year at $44 million; he now has three for at least $75 million with a team he just led to the NBA Finals.
But Paul should give Griffin and the Pelicans an assist.