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Monday, May 20, 2019

Chris Paul

Chris Paul to sign $160 million deal with Rockets

Chris Paul Rockets

So much for the reports about tension between Chris Paul and the Houston Rockets.

CP3 will sign a four-year, $160 million deal with the Rockets, as first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The expectation always was that Paul would return to Houston given all the success the team enjoyed last season. Despite his injuries, the Rockets had the best record in the NBA during the regular season and pushed the Warriors to a seventh game in the conference finals.

Had Paul not gotten injured during the series, it’s quite plausible that the Rockets would have won it all.

Although Paul is 33 and will probably be overpaid in the last few years of his deal, this is a move the Rockets felt they had to do in order to have the best chance at competing for a championship next year and the year after.

10 big-name NBA players who could change teams this summer

LeBron James

The NBA is on fire right now, and it’s been undefeated since a for-the-ages 2017 offseason. In addition to a flurry of open-market transactions, a number of stars changed teams via trade, fundamentally shifting the league’s power dynamics.

Indiana shipped Paul George to Oklahoma City. The Clippers sent Chris Paul to Houston. Chicago traded disgruntled Jimmy Butler to Minnesota.

Which stars could be on the move this offseason? Here is our perspective on 10 who could change uniforms.

10. Markelle Fultz

The 2017 No. 1 overall pick had an up-and-down rookie season. After struggling with a shoulder injury and re-learning how to shoot (for a good breakdown of that strange situation, read this piece from PhillyVoice), he played in 14 games and showed glimpses of brilliance. He averaged 7.1 points, 3.8 assists, and 3.1 rebounds in 18.1 minutes per game. The 20-year-old flashed the uncanny speed, change of pace, and athleticism that wowed draft scouts. His stock is low at the moment, but his upside is huge. He could be a central figure in Philly’s efforts to acquire Kawhi Leonard.

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Chris Paul, Rockets execs mock report about ‘tension’ over contract

Chris Paul Rockets

If Chris Paul and members of the Houston Rockets’ front office are experiencing “tension” over the star point guard’s contract situation, they are doing a tremendous job of hiding it.

Paul was spotted hanging out with Rockets general manager Daryl Morey and CEO Tad Brown during the NBA Awards Show on Monday night, and ESPN’s Rachel Nichols sarcastically asked him, ‘So these are the people you hate, right?” The trio shared a good laugh and some high-fives.

“I can’t stand them, man,” Paul said. “Ain’t we beefing?”

Last week, Chris Broussard of FOX Sports described a situation where Paul initially believed he was in line for a max contract extension this summer, but the Rockets are having second thoughts. While Paul, Morey and Brown could be great actors, it doesn’t seem like that is the case.

For what it’s worth, one report says Paul is focused on one thing and one thing only this offseason, and it has nothing to do with his contract.

Twitter reacts to Chris Paul losing to Steph Curry on ‘Family Feud’

Chris Paul shimmy

Poor Chris Paul can’t even beat Stephen Curry when it comes to game shows.

The two NBA stars appeared Sunday on an episode of ABC’s “Celebrity Family Feud” as they led their respective families in competition against one another.

Once again, Curry’s team got the better of Paul’s team, thanks to a dominant “Fast Money” round by Curry’s wife Ayesha. She racked up 194 of the 200 points required to clinch the victory, and Steph easily got the remaining six.

It was a result that led to some funny jokes on Twitter, some mocking Paul for losing to Curry again and others clowning Curry for getting carried to the win.

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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.