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Report: Pelicans offered Chris Paul $100 million, he used it to leverage fourth year from Suns

2021 NBA Finals - Phoenix Suns v. Milwaukee Bucks

MILWAUKEE, WI - JULY 20: Chris Paul #3 of the Phoenix Suns looks on during Game Six of the 2021 NBA Finals on July 20, 2021 at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

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.