Chris Paul planning to decline his $44 million contract option?

There has been a lot of talk recently about Chris Paul’s next contract and his future plans. The star point guard just turned 36 and has a player option for $44.2 million next season. That is a significant sum of money.

So, will he pick up the option and play for $44.2 million, or will he turn it down in hopes of a long-term deal?

Earlier this month, Bleacher Report’s Eric Pincus reported that Paul is intending to decline the contract option. In the same report, Pincus said that Paul had hopes of signing a 3-year deal for around $100 million.

By comparison, two days ago Chris Mannix said NBA executives believed Paul would get around $60 million for three years.

There is a huge difference between the $60 million figure Mannix reported and the $100 million figure Paul reportedly wants. If his market price is only around $60 million, turning down a $44.2 million option wouldn’t make a lot of sense. However, if he can sign for closer to $100 million guaranteed, that would be worthwhile.

Keep in mind that as the president of the NBPA since 2013, Paul may feel an additional obligation to maximize his earnings. He would probably only decline his option if he feels like he can make a good chunk more in free agency.

Paul is in his first season with the Phoenix Suns. They have a 3-0 series lead on the Denver Nuggets and are close to reaching the Western Conference finals.