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.
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“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.