CP3 plans to be back for 18th season: 'I'm not retiring tomorrow'
"Not at all," Paul, 37, said postgame when asked if he considered this postseason a lost opportunity. "They said that last year, probably said it back in '08. You play long enough and you don't win, every time you lose they're going to say it was your best chance. ... We'll be right back next year, tell you that much.
"I'm not retiring tomorrow. Thank God. Hopefully, I'm healthy (and) come back, but keep playing."
The Suns finished with the best record in the league by some distance at 64-18 and were expected to make another deep run following their NBA Finals appearance last year. However, they were stymied at home by the fourth-seeded Mavericks in Game 7, with no Suns player scoring more than 12 points.
An NBA championship is the most conspicuous absence on Paul's Hall of Fame-caliber resume. The 17-year vet has racked up 12 All-Star nominations, 10 All-NBA selections, made nine All-Defensive teams, and was the 2013 All-Star Game MVP. He was also named to the NBA's 75th-anniversary team this season as one of the greatest 75 players in the league's history.
Last year's run was Paul's first-ever Finals appearance, though the Suns fell short after taking a 2-0 series lead. Prior to then, his best chance came in 2018, when his Houston Rockets held a 3-1 lead over the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference finals. However, Paul missed Game 6 and 7 with a hamstring issue as the Warriors rallied back to take the series.
Paul penned a four-year, $120-million deal with Phoenix last summer. He's under contract through the 2024-25 season, though the final year is yet to be guaranteed.
- Kyrie exercises $37M option with Nets for 2022-23: 'See you in the fall'
- Top 25 NBA free agents: The biggest names potentially available this summer
- Bulls' Karnisovas hoping to re-sign LaVine 'for a long time'
- Report: Rockets, John Wall heading toward split
- Report: Beal very likely to opt out, re-sign with Wizards on 5-year deal