Paul is listed at +140 odds to take home the award, followed by Suns starting shooting guard Devin Booker at +275. Milwaukee Bucks superstar forward Giannis Antetokounmpo has the best odds of his team to win at +300, followed by All-Star forward Khris Middleton at +800.
Here is the complete list below, as of Tuesday morning prior to Game 1.
Paul is entering his first NBA Finals of his career, an achievement that has loomed over his Hall-of-Fame resume. In these playoffs, he is averaging 18.1 points on 47.0 percent shooting (40.5 percent from 3-point range), 8.7 assists, 3.9 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game.
Paul’s efforts have been critical to the Suns’ closeout efforts throughout the postseason. In Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals against the Los Angeles Clippers, Paul tied a playoff career-high with 41 points on 16-of-24 shooting, including 31 points in the second half. It was the most points he scored in a half in his career.
From growing up in North Carolina, to the 2005 NBA Draft, to stops with 4 franchises and now the @Suns, here’s a look at Chris Paul's journey that's brought him to the NBA Finals. #ThatsGame— NBA (@NBA) July 6, 2021
Bucks/Suns #NBAFinals presented by YouTube TV Game 1 tips tonight at 9pm/et on ABC. pic.twitter.com/vtHFacNpex
In Game 4 against the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference semifinals, Paul led the Suns with 37 points on 14-of-19 shooting and seven assists. According to ESPN Stats and Info, Paul — at 36 years old — is the oldest player in postseason history with 35 points in consecutive closeout games within a single playoff run.
“I’m really happy for Chris because again, I see the work that he puts in,” Suns coach Monty Williams said. “I see the care, you saw the tears after the game. You never know if you’re going to be in these positions, and you watch guys get their three, four, five times. Some people get there more than that and you’re like, ‘Man, I work my tail off.’ And then you just realize it’s a blessing.”
For the first time in his life, Chris Paul has this backdrop behind him. pic.twitter.com/FzkT4mTPbl— Melissa Rohlin (@melissarohlin) July 5, 2021
Paul and the Suns open the NBA Finals against the Bucks on Tuesday night at 6:00 p.m. PT at Phoenix Suns Arena. The game will be televised by ABC.
For more of our preview content at Bright Side of the Sun, here are some recentlinks.
- Official Game 1 Preview: What, where, when, player status updates, keys and more (By Dave King)
- Identifying the Suns’ potential secret weapon against the Bucks (By Zona Hoops)
- Solar Panel Podcast Finals Preview with special guest Vince Marotta (By Dave King)
- NBA Finals outlook: Suns players preview the Milwaukee Bucks (By Trevor Booth)
- Finals Practice Report: Suns and Bucks both locked in for the Larry O’Brien (By Dave King)
- Ayton’s versatility and execution are paramount to the Suns success in the NBA Finals (By John Voita)