The Houston Rockets got oh-so-close to beating the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals, and might have actually pulled it off if starting point guard Chris Paul wasn’t forced to miss Games 6 and 7 with a hamstring injury. But Paul is about to be a free agent, and according to Adrian Wojnarowski he isn’t likely to offer the Rockets any sort of discount to retain his services.
At 33-years-old, this is likely Paul’s last big payday in the NBA. He wants a maximum deal.
“When the Rockets made that deal for Chris Paul, knowing they would re-sign him [once he hit free agency], they made a conscious decision that they were gonna have to live with [paying him] $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.’
“We’ll see how that plays out in their contract talks [with Paul] here in free agency. Chris Paul didn’t turn down $200 million from the Clippers because he thought that somehow the Rockets were gonna talk him into saving them luxury-tax money. I don’t imagine it playing out that way.”
The Rockets traded for Paul last Summer, and he turned out to be one of the key missing pieces to join James Harden in their quest to dethrone the Warriors. Paul scored 18.6 points, 5.4 points, and 7.9 assists per game in 2017-18 for Houston. His nagging injuries limited him to just 58 games in the regular season, but he was great in the playoffs until that strained hamstring kept him out of those vital games.
The nine-time All-Star is still among the best point guards in the league, when healthy. Plenty of teams will be interested in signing him this summer, but may shy away from offering him max money.