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Sunday, June 24, 2018

Articles tagged: 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.

Report: Chris Paul is telling people LeBron wants to be in LA

LeBron James

The chatter about LeBron James potentially heading to the Los Angeles Lakers continues.

On his radio show Monday, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith reported that Chris Paul is telling people that LeBron wants to go to LA.

Paul is close friends with James and part of the “Banana Boat” group, so he probably would have intimate knowledge of LeBron’s plans. He also reportedly began recruiting LeBron to Houston after the season ended, so it’s quite possible he was told this firsthand by his buddy. This report seems to coincide with a previous one that said LeBron wasn’t a big fan of the city of Houston.

The Lakers are the betting favorite to land James this summer. LeBron does have a player option for over $35 million, but he’s expected to decline that in order to become a free agent. The Lakers seem like his destination, and there was even a report that his son is committed to a high school in LA.

H/T Yahoo Sports

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.

Eric Gordon: Rockets would have beaten Warriors with healthy Chris Paul

How much did the Houston Rockets miss Chris Paul in the last two games of the Western Conference Finals? So much that even the player who took on a bigger role in his absence believe’s CP3’s injury was the difference in the series.

Following Houston’s loss in Game 7 on Monday, Eric Gordon boldly stated that the Rockets would be heading to the Finals if Paul didn’t suffer a hamstring injury.

“It sucks because you know you could win this series if we just had one more playmaker,” he said, per ESPN’s Tim MacMahon. “If we had Chris, if he was out there, we’d have been playing on Thursday. It’s just tough.”

Gordon scored 23 points in Game 7, but he and his teammates shot historically bad from beyond the arc. Gordon connected on just 2-of-12 3-point attempts, and the Rockets were 7-of-44 as a team. There was one stretch where they went about 24 minutes of game time without hitting a single 3-pointer.

Houston took sizable leads into halftime of Game 6 and Game 7, but Mike D’Antoni noted how Paul’s leadership was missed in the second half of each of those games.

“That’s what C.P. was so good at in two [of the] games we won,” the Rockets coach said. “They’d make a little run, he’d hit a 3. They make another run, and he makes another play. And you have to have those momentum changers and stoppers, and the last two games, we didn’t have them.”

The Rockets had plenty of chances even without Paul, which is something their general manager alluded to on Monday night. Still, you have to think CP3 could have at least helped stave off some of those huge Golden State runs. As for whether or not he would have been the difference in the series, we will never know.

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.

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