Chris Paul fell short anew of winning an NBA title after the Milwaukee Bucks wrapped up the 2021 NBA Finals, 4-2. It was the first NBA title for the Bucks since 1971 when they swept the Baltimore Bullets. That team was led by Oscar Robertson and Lew Alcindor, later known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

As far as Paul is concerned, the question is whether he will return with the Suns. CP3 has a player option in his current contract that would guarantee him $44 million if he opts in. That is huge money and some people feel that Phoenix may not be inclined to pay the veteran guard that amount of money. Instead, the Suns may use those funds to take in young players to complement Devin Booker and company.

One person who feels that the Suns will not spend that huge amount on Paul is IMG Academy director Daniel Barto. Before the NBA finals were concluded, the 42-year-old guested on the Sports For All PH podcast hosted by Vincent Juico and this writer.

“If you’re Phoenix, you can’t just pay him $40 million and try to deal with the rest. I think it’s going to be weird,” Barton stated.

That said, Barto gave his forecast on where Paul could end up. He mentioned a couple of teams but excluded the New York Knicks. He feels that CP3 may be looking for a three-year deal and play for a team where he can get along with its coaching staff and lead that team in the same way he has led the Suns this season.

“I could see him ending up in Utah or Miami, somewhere strange. I don’t seeing him being in New York. I could even see Chicago,” Barto quipped. “No pressure on him. He can enjoy his family. Everybody will be happy that the franchise won 10 more, 12 more games. But I don’t see him back in Phoenix,” the IMG Director explained.

Given that Paul has weaved his magic with the Suns this season and the Oklahoma City Thunder before that, there is no doubt that the 36-year-old has proven he can still play the game at a high level.

The only thing sure is that he is not retiring. He made the clear when he was asked by Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated. Paul is not retiring and it is back to work for him.

Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks shoots a free throw as Chris Paul #3 of the Phoenix Suns Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks shoots a free throw as Chris Paul #3 of the Phoenix Suns Getty Images | Justin Casterline