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Sunday, June 24, 2018

Chris Paul

Chris Paul, Rockets reportedly dealing with ‘tension’ over contract

Chris Paul Rockets

Chris Paul likely thought it was a foregone conclusion that he would be signing a max contract extension with the Houston Rockets when he forced his way out of Los Angeles last year, but an injury-ridden season may have complicated the situation a bit.

According to Chris Broussard of FOX Sports, some “tension” exists between Paul and the Rockets over the star point guard’s contract situation.

“From what I’m told, there’s tension now between Houston and Chris Paul,” Broussard said. “There was definitely some type of handshake, wink-wink, ‘We’re gonna max you out’ (agreement) last summer. Now, they’re not so sure.

“Houston, with good reason, doesn’t want to do that. They’ve got an out because they have new ownership. (GM) Daryl Morey can go to Chris Paul and be like, ‘I want to do it but the new owner doesn’t want to give you five years.'”

Paul, 33, is eligible to earn about $200 million over five years with Houston. James Harden signed an extension with the Rockets last summer that will kick in following next season and pay him $37.8 million, $40.8 million, $43.8 million and $46.8 million in each of the four years after that. Harden, who has been an MVP candidate over the past several seasons, is five years younger than Paul and has been reasonably healthy throughout his career.

The Rockets have two other key players — Clint Capela and Trevor Ariza — becoming free agents this summer. They’re also trying to sign LeBron James, so you can understand how giving CP3 a $205 million extension would create some constraints or, at the very least, a massive luxury tax bill.

For what it’s worth, a previous report claimed Paul is not concerned about his contract and has focused in on one thing and one thing only this offseason. He obviously wants to stay in Houston, but things could get a bit dicey if the Rockets expect him to take a big discount because of his age and recent injury history.

Chris Paul reportedly ‘focused on recruiting’ LeBron to Rockets

Chris Paul Rockets

Chris Paul is set to join a loaded class of free agents on July 1, but most of the reports we have heard about his offseason plans indicate the star point guard plans to remain with the Houston Rockets.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said Monday night that Paul has been committed to re-signing with the Rockets and will do so unless the team suddenly changes course on their financial commitment to him. Rather than worrying about his own contract, CP3 is reportedly dedicating all of his energy to recruiting LeBron James.

“You know, Chris is going to return there. Right now, his focus isn’t so much on his own free agency, he’s trying to recruit LeBron James to Houston,” Wojnarowski said, as transcribed by RealGM. “Somebody close to him said to me, ‘He is as focused on recruiting LeBron as anything he’s done in this league. He wants to find a way.’

“You know Daryl Morey in Houston is always big game hunting. They love the ability to make changes with their roster and cap, be creative. If LeBron said he wanted to come to Houston, they can find a way to make it happen.”

While he’ll undoubtedly keep trying to convince LeBron, a separate report indicated Paul believes his close friend is going to sign with another team.

The Rockets don’t necessarily need LeBron, and there have been some questions about how their offense would look with LeBron, CP3 and James Harden all on the floor. Mike D’Antoni would have to change some things to make that work. The most important factor for Houston next season could be Paul’s health, as we saw how much the team missed him when he went down in the playoffs.

Steve Kerr has response for Rockets’ Chris Paul claims

Steve Kerr face

A lot of talk surrounding the Houston Rockets has been that they would have won the Western Conference Finals had Chris Paul been healthy. After all, they were essentially up 3-2 in the series when CP3 injured his hamstring at the end of Game 5.

According to an article by Marc Spears in The Undefeated, Houston Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni even told Kevin Durant during Game 7 that the Rockets would have won if CP3 were playing.

Well Steve Kerr isn’t buying that crap.

The Golden State Warriors head coach feels otherwise and thinks his team had an injury that was even more impactful.

“We would have won the series in five if (Andre Iguodala) played,” Kerr said after Game 7, via Reuters.

Andre Iguodala got hurt in Game 3 of the series and missed the final four games, which the teams split. The Warriors were 2-1 in games he played in the series. Perhaps that injury was just as significant. Unfortunately for Golden State, there are still a lot of questions surrounding Iguodala’s status for the NBA Finals. They’ll need him to help stop LeBron James.

Chris Paul expected to be ready for Game 3 of NBA Finals

Chris Paul Rockets

Chris Paul is expected to be ready for at least part of the NBA Finals in the case that his Houston Rockets advance past the Golden State Warriors.

Paul has a Grade 2 hamstring strain, which he suffered late in the Rockets’ Game 5 win in the Western Conference Finals on Thursday. The injury kept him out of Game 6 on Saturday and Game 7 on Monday.

In the first quarter of Game 7, TNT’s Kristen Ledlow reported that Paul could be ready for Game 1 of the NBA Finals if the Rockets advance. She noted that the expectation is that he would be ready for Game 3.

Game 1 of the Finals will be on Thursday, May 31. Game 3 would be on Wednesday, June 3 in Cleveland. Paul would have nearly two full weeks of recovery time before Game 3 of the Finals.

Chris Paul reportedly has Grade 2 hamstring strain

Chris Paul injury

Chris Paul’s hamstring injury is apparently pretty significant.

Paul was ruled out for Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals on Monday, which will mark the second straight game of the series he will miss for the Houston Rockets against the Golden State Warriors. He suffered the injury late in Game 5. Even if his Rockets were to advance to the NBA Finals, there’s no guarantee he would be able to play.

ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne reports that Paul has a Grade 2 hamstring strain. She points out that the same injury cost James Harden nearly three weeks in January.

CP3 is averaging 21.1 points, 5.9 rebounds and 5.8 points per game this postseason. The team is 11-4 in games he has played this postseason.

Report: Chris Paul ‘trying his best’ for Game 7

Chris Paul injury

Chris Paul may not play in Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals, but it doesn’t sound like it will be for lack of trying.

Marc J. Spears of the Undefeated reported Monday that, with tipoff looming, Paul is still doing everything possible to play despite a hamstring injury.

That doesn’t sound particularly optimistic, but it’s something. As of Sunday, Paul hadn’t tested the hamstring, and while coach Mike D’Antoni wasn’t optimistic, he wasn’t ruling anything out. The Rockets are doing everything within their power to at least get Paul on the court, though even if that works out, it’s hard to imagine him being all that effective.

Chris Paul officially questionable for Game 7, has not tested hamstring

Chris Paul injury

Chris Paul’s status for Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals will not be determined until close to tipoff, as the Houston Rockets point guard has yet to test it out.

Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said in his Sunday conference call that Paul will be officially listed as questionable, but it may not be until Monday afternoon that a decision is made on his status. Paul is receiving near-constant treatment on his injured hamstring in the hope that he’ll be able to suit up.

In reality, it’s unlikely Paul plays given the nature of the injury that he suffered in Game 5. Even if he did, it would be a big question mark as to how effective he’d be. Houston is probably planning to play the decisive game without him.

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