The Phoenix Suns lost the 2021 NBA Finals to the Milwaukee Bucks in six games, ending what was an excellent season in the desert. The Suns were expected to improve after finishing undefeated in the Orlando Bubble, but not many people predicted they would be in the NBA Finals just a year later.
A big reason for the team’s rapid turnaround was the acquisition of Chris Paul. As he has done at all the stops in his career, Paul quickly helped turn around a downtrodden franchise.
After being written off by many following two seasons with the Houston Rockets, Paul had a magnificent 2019-20 season with the Oklahoma City Thunder, leading what many thought to be a lottery team into the postseason. Phoenix acquired Paul in the offseason to help them get back into the postseason and he did that and more.
Paul has proven the last two seasons that he still has plenty to offer an NBA team. He had some monster games in the postseason with the Suns, including 37 and 41 point games in the closeout games of the semis and Western Conference Finals.
Locking up Paul long-term is the Suns’ No. 1 priority this offseason. He has a player option for the 2021-22 season but he expected to decline that and land a multi-year offer, presumably a three-year deal so the NBA’s over-38 rule doesn’t kick in.
However, there are numerous teams in the league that will pursue Paul, aggressively, once he is a free agent. Phoenix has to have a contingency plan in place in case he does leave town.
If that happens, here are three replacements the Phoenix Suns could target as replacements for him.