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Suns Owner Robert Sarver On Bringing Back Chris Paul: ‘We’ll See Next Week, I Guess’

One would think that, after an NBA Finals run for the Phoenix Suns, that Chris Paul would be back with the Suns for next season. He has a player option he can pick up, but also could decline that and hit free agency, with Phoenix holding his Bird rights that would allow them to go over the cap to re-sign him.

From the outside at least, one would also think that Suns owner Robert Sarver would know what was going on in some way. But in an interview Sarver did with Burns and Gambo on 98.7 Arizona Sports in Phoenix, Sarver said he does not know what Paul will do with his player option. And when asked if there was anything the Suns could to bring him back, he said “We’ll see next week I guess, right?” (via Kellan Olson).

Paul has leverage with the Suns here. He was instrumental in elevating the Suns to a team that was up 2-0 in the NBA Finals and made the playoffs for the first time since the Steve Nash era. If declines his player option (worth $39.9 million) in pursuit of a multi-year deal, the Suns would have little recourse to replace him and would need to consider a big offer for the 36-year-old.

What Sarver is saying here isn’t necessarily bad, but it certainly isn’t inspiring any confidence for Suns fans that the team is handling this situation with the care it really deserves. There are plenty of teams (including the Lakers, Mavs, and pretty much any other team connected to Kyle Lowry at the moment) that would have significant interest in Paul should he decline his option and Phoenix balks at his asking price. This has be priority No. 1 for them this summer and these comments from Sarver don’t seem to indicate that Phoenix is approaching it as much. Or, for a more charitable reading, Sarver himself isn’t really thinking about it in the way he arguably should be and is truly just deferring to general manager James Jones.

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