The Houston Rockets are expected to make a run at landing LeBron James this summer. Unfortunately, there might be a problem with those plans because All-Star point guard Chris Paul wants to get paid.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Paul is highly unlikely to sign with Houston for a discount, and it is believed the 33-year old point guard will pursue a max contract, which could total over $200 million over the next five seasons.
Woj said on his podcast, it’s unlikely the Rockets would get a hometown discount.
“When the Rockets made that deal for Chris Paul, knowing they would re-sign him (Paul opted into the last year of his contract to make the trade happen), they made a conscious decision that they were gonna have to live with $46, $47 million-a-year salary when he’s not nearly the player anymore in his late 30s, but, ‘We’re gonna make a run at it now; we wanna win a championship now. We’ll deal with it [Paul’s contract] later,'” the ESPN insider said.
Here's what a full max contract for Chris Paul would look like:
2018-19: $35.4 million
2019-20: $38.2 million
2020-21: $41.0 million
2021-22: $43.8 million
2022-23: $46.7 million
Sum total of $205 million over five seasons.
Chris Paul will be 37 years old in 2022
— Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer) June 5, 2018
In his first season with the Rockets, Paul averaged 18.6 points, 5.4 rebounds, 7.9 assists and 1.7 steals per game. Prior to suffering an injury in the Western Conference Finals, he was averaging 21.1 points, 5.9 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 2.0 steals per night during the post-season.
Paul injured his hamstring late in that series against the Golden State Warriors, though, and missed the final two games — both of which Houston lost.
If the Houston front office wants to keep the 33-year-old veteran, it sounds like they’ll have to go all out. Keeping him and James Harden, all while pursuing James when free agency hits, is going to require some creative maneuvering and roster reconstruction.
Photo Courtesy of ESPN