Chris Paul Won't Take Pay Cut To Stay With Houston Rockets: Report
If the Houston Rockets want to keep their star-studded backcourt intact, they'll have to shell out the big bucks to keep Chris Paul from leaving during free agency.
According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Paul is highly unlikely to sign with Houston for a discount, and it is believed the 33-year old point guard will pursue a max contract, which could total over $200 million over the next five seasons.
During a recent taping The Woj Pod, Wojnarowski tells fellow ESPN employee Bobby Marks (H/T Shane Mickle ClutchPoints.com):
"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."
In his first season with the Rockets, CP3 averaged 18.6 points, 5.4 rebounds, 7.9 assists and 1.7 steals per game. Prior to suffering an injury in the Western Conference Finals, he was averaging 21.1 points, 5.9 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 2.0 steals per night during the post-season.
In addition to Chris Paul's contract situation, the Rockets will also be looking to retain restricted free agent center Clint Capela, who is also in line for a big contract this Summer. Not to mention, role players like Trevor Ariza and Gerald Green will also become unrestricted free agents next month.