Rockets Notes: Paul, Free Agents, Capela, Rosas

There are a lot of concerns in Houston after another season ended with a playoff loss to the Warriors, but the decline of Chris Paul may be the most serious issue, writes Sean Deveney of Sporting News. Paul missed at least 20 games for the third straight season, playing in 58, and his production declined in several important areas.

The nine-time All-Star posted career lows in scoring (15.6 PPG), shooting (41.9% from the field), free throw frequency (3.5 per game) and PER (19.7). He had difficulty finding his shot in the playoffs, making just one of his first 10 3-point attempts and shooting 27% from long distance.

Now 34, Paul just completed the first season of a four-year extension he signed last summer. He will make $38.5MM next season, $41.3MM in 2020/21 and has a $44.2MM option for 2021/22. Paul, James Harden and Clint Capela will consume 85% of the Rockets‘ cap space next season, Deveney notes, and are all under contract through the summer of 2022.

There’s more tonight from Houston:

  • Midseason acquisitions Austin Rivers, Kenneth Faried and Iman Shumpert may all be headed elsewhere this summer, Deveney adds. All three will be unrestricted free agents, and the Rockets won’t have much to offer beyond their mid-level exception. Deveney sees Gerald Green, who played for the veteran’s minimum this year, as likely to return.
  • Capela’s contract could be a major issue if he can’t overcome the confidence problem that seems to plague him against the Warriors, states Kelly Iko of The Athletic. Capela is owed up to approximately $72.2MM over the next four years, and although he played well during the season, he has become a matchup problem against Golden State. “He’ll learn from this, he’ll only get better,” coach Mike D’Antoni said after the Game 6 loss. “He’s only 25, he’ll get stronger. The expectations are high for him. I think he was a little below his normal stats. Could’ve been better, but I’ll go down with guys like that.”
  • The Rockets are making some front office changes after losing executive VP Gersson Rosas to the Timberwolves, relays Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Assistant GM Jimmy Paulis has taken Rosas’ duties of coordinating the team’s scouts, and GM Daryl Morey is looking to hire someone to fill the vacancy.
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12 thoughts on “Rockets Notes: Paul, Free Agents, Capela, Rosas

  1. Bryzzo2016

    That CP3 contract is a killer. He’s only gonna get older, miss even more games than he already has. I think they missed their best chance at toppling the Dubs.

    • azcrook

      They got outplayed by a deeper and more seasoned team. The Warriors took care of business when the chips were down. No slight to the Rockets…. but, they were outplayed..

  2. InvalidUserID

    Capela with confidence problems against the Warriors? Didn’t he specifically ask for the Warriors? I recall he did.

    Rockets need an overhaul.

  3. jorge78

    I don’t know why they paid Paul all that money at his age. Now they’re stuck with a mannequin…..

    • All the max/super max contracts to players around 29/30 or older look real bad. All are mistakes…. well except LBJ’s he still performs like a kid but all the others, Wall, CP3, Harden, Curry, Westbrook… & now to come Butler, KD… all do now or will look bad before the end.

  4. Dark14ry

    I was a fan of the Clippers ditching him and BG because they are never healthy and they always seemed to get hurt or lay an egg in the playoffs.
    Houston doomed themselves with that contract. Jerry West is still laughing at Houston

  5. Z-A

    It’s simple. Chris Paul deferred too much to Harden and the role players. Shot attempts down significantly. Harden takes 2 of those shots away which is fine, but 3 more going to other marginal players is not ideal. If all 5 shots went to Harden okay and he was averaging 36 a game that’s fine too, but wasnt the case. There arent too many scenarios where they can add a start and it not be a bar contract too.

    Kevin Love. I can see that being a trade that happens if you fire up the trade machine.

    They, and other squads failed to add the right veteran players on the cheap. Lopez, Cousins, Seth Curry, Jeff Green, Rose, McGee.. just a lot of quality reserves that would have been difference makers. You can’t go at the King with subpar talent off the bench.

  6. Reflect

    Chris Paul has always been overrated. He was a top PG at one point, but that was only because all the other PGs were awful.

    • x%sure

      No he was good, had much better movement than now. He has always been a little too screwed in 24/7. He will be an unpopular coach.

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