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#pounditFriday, September 17, 2021

Chris Paul came close to returning to New Orleans?

Chris Paul Suns

New Orleans’ prodigal son very nearly made his way home this offseason.

Brian Windhorst of ESPN said this week on “The Hoop Collective” podcast that the New Orleans Pelicans offered Paul a three-year, $100 million deal. Windhorst adds that the 11-time All-Star appeared to have entertained the offer for some time. But the Suns ended up giving Paul a $120 million contract with a partially-guaranteed fourth year, which he accepted.

Paul, now 36, was drafted by New Orleans in 2005 and played the first six seasons of his career with them back when they were still the Hornets. The team just hired former Suns assistant Willie Green to be their next head coach. They also would have been able to complement Paul with a young core led by Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram.

That said, Paul just made the Finals with Phoenix’s fine young core of their own led by Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton. With his new deal paying him until age 40, it was simply too good for Paul to walk away from, despite New Orleans’ best efforts to bring him home.

H/T RealGM

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