Rockets Owner Believed Chris Paul’s Contract Was The Worst He’d Ever Seen

Last summer’s trade that sent Chris Paul to the Thunder for Russell Westbrook was driven by the dismay Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta had over Paul’s contract, ESPN’s Tim MacMahon said on the latest edition of The Lowe Post podcast.

Reflecting on Daryl Morey’s tenure in Houston, MacMahon said Fertitta and James Harden were more insistent on the deal than the team’s former general manager. Harden had clashed with Paul during their final season as teammates, and Fertitta believed Paul’s contract “was the worst that he’d ever seen in business or sports,” according to MacMahon.

MacMahon emphasizes that Morey didn’t openly object to making the trade, but was compelled to act because of the wishes of his “two bosses,” Fertitta and Harden. He adds that many people in the Rockets’ organization believe the relationship between Paul and Harden could have been salvaged if Westbrook hadn’t been available.

Paul, 35, still has two seasons left on the four-year, $160MM contract the Rockets gave him in the summer of 2018. He played just one season in Houston after signing the deal, as the team shipped him and a parcel of draft picks to Oklahoma City in exchange for Westbrook.

Paul was outstanding in leading the Thunder to the playoffs in what many considered to be a rebuilding year, but his age and contract make him a candidate to be traded again before the start of next season.

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33 thoughts on “Rockets Owner Believed Chris Paul’s Contract Was The Worst He’d Ever Seen

  1. Strike Four

    Boomers need to have their hyperbole keys taken away because literally any sports contract ever will never be large enough to be deemed “the worst ever”.

    CEO’s make $80 million a year to write 4 company-wide emails saying “well done everyone”. Any CEO does like 0.1% actual work of any pro athlete puts in.

    Boomers are such children, they way they talk and the way they have no empathy for anyone and are fine with killing everyone, they need to have all the power taken away from them before we all die because of them.

    • This insight has been brought to you by the hubris of youth.

      Youth, that thing you had when all the world made sense and everything was pretty easy. A constant cycle of energy that repeats mistakes since the beginning of modern time. Youth, pick up yours today and rail against the establishment or just try some drugs. It’s your option.

      • mgraub00

        Ah yes … easy. Good thing boomers weren’t saddled with generational antipathy, having to fix a broken societal system, conned into five figures of debt, were paid a decent wage, didn’t have to deal with school shootings, and the existential threat of climate change making us ask the question whether or not it is even ethical to have children. Retirement, generational wealth, and armchair quarterbacking everyone in sight sounds easy to me.

        • Lionel Muggeridge

          You’ve got the easiest lifestyle in the history of the world genius. You haven’t been drafted into a war, faced a Great Depression, been enslaved etc.

    • whoneedsfacts

      Agreed! Plus they are the most corrupt selfish generation I can think of and destroyd the middle class for everyone after them.

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      That’s true, but Millennials are just as bad as Boomers.

      • This insight has been brought to you by the self satisfaction of aging.

        Aging, it happens eventually and you too might eventually get yours. You might even get paid and feel relatively wealthy and blessed, or you might end up an aging troll who is forever bitter. You might spend your time complaining about everything or you might get the really good drugs! Aging, I hope it works out well for you.

  2. GoLandCrabs

    Fertitta is showing how unqualified he is to be an NBA owner. If you think a past his prime but still good CP3 is the worst contract in sports you haven’t followed enough sports. And if you thought CP3 was bad enjoy writing Westbrook a check for over 40 million a year for the next 3 years to disappear in the playoffs…including a 47 million dollar option for his age 34 season. How tone deaf can you be Tilman?

    • El Don

      Too true, this fertitta fellow is a total clown & shouldn’t be allowed to own a team, his problem is that he is a cheap guy, never done any honest work in his life, just exploiting his poor restaurant workers & now cashing from HOU while not investing anything at all… this clown really sucks!

  3. afsooner02

    He thinks that one was bad but then takes on Russ’s?


    • arc89

      He spent a lot of money the last 6 years and no championships. He needs to look in the mirror at who cost the Rockets. He should never had acquired Paul if he didn’t like the contract. Its all on him.

      • Lakers1

        He gave him the contract.. when rockets got him from clippers, part of the sign and trade was him taking the player option.. you know the trade where clippers got picks and Harrell and Lou williams and pat Beverly.. that’s how dumb Morey is..

        • x%sure

          It was more or less a player’s push, to add CPaul to Harden. The deal got Harden excited for delivering a title to the Rockets, and few days later, Harden extended to 2023. Thats what Morey wanted and it was brilliant and it worked through 2018 until the injury and recriminations.

          Like I always say. :D The coverup began when Harden would not take blame for starting Paul’s kitchen fire. It was under control until the insurance robot came by. I saw it on TV studio quality.

  4. madmanTX

    He must have not seen many sports contracts. Look at A-Rod’s with the Rangers, Cano’s with Seattle, Josh Hamilton and Pujols’ deals with the Angels….

      • Bonilla’s contract would not make a list of the top 1000 worst contracts in sports. They converted his remaining money into a deferred deal that allowed them to afford more players at that time. It’s no different in spirit than Max Scherzer’s and with inflation it’s not bad.

    • YOGA

      Dont forget with chicago bull.they gave an 32m/4 years for an undrafted player named cristiano felicio.g0d d4mn stupid gar pax.8m a year for an undrafted player.

  5. phillyballers

    He’s aware that Westbrook, the guy his team traded for had a worse season than CP3 right? And he gave up assets to get Westbrook. And they are paid the same.

  6. specialfriedrice

    What is in the water in Houston…

    You firstly gave away, Pat Beverley, Lou Williams, Harrell, cash and a 1st round pick the acquire Paul

    Then resigned him after he played out his previous contract…to ‘the worst contract in sports or business’…yourselves…

    Played him for another season.

    Then traded him for a questionable fit and a player with an even larger contract…and 2 1st rounders and 2 1st round pick swaps…

    Now you owe your questionable fit not less than $131,000,000 over the next 3 years…with no draft assets.

    Or you could have owed Paul $85,000,000 over the next two years…and had held onto your draft picks…

    So the ‘worst contract in business or sports’ seems to have ballooned an extra $46,000,000 in overall cost whilst stripping your franchise of nearly all draft assets…

    • LordBanana

      Perfect analysis. Tilman could be the worst owner in the NBA if Dolan wasn’t around. He’s done nothing but handicap the team since he showed up.

  7. Appalachian_Outlaw

    I want Houston to get an NHL team, just to see if they can pull off the Quad-fectra of upper level management ineptitude. Lol. The football franchise gives away talent, the baseball franchise cheats, and the Rockets’ owner appears clueless.

  8. ifyouaintcheatingyouainttrying

    Doesn’t the “Owner” have the ability to ok any contract? Or was he not the owner when they signed him?

  9. What’s different about CP3’s contract is the team knew it was bad when they signed it. They likely felt they had to because it was likely “promised” the prior year when Harden convinced CP3 to opt into the final year of his LAC contract (vs becoming a FA) so Houston could trade for him. They didn’t have the cap space to sign him as a FA. In the interim, CP3 had his worst year, and there was an ownership change. Alexander told Morey a few years ago that he’d pay the tax if the team was good. TF didn’t want to. The rest, who knows? But team made CP3 sweat for the deal. Not sure if that started the bad blood, but the team had to be careful because CP3 is a powerful player and if he indicated Houston had an unofficial deal with him (Bad) and they reneged (Even Worse). MIGHT be one reason TF is focusing on that contract vs others. Also, he’s cheap.

  10. Jason Lancaster

    The worst contract in the NBA? I mean, does Fertitta have no respect for the Knicks?

    • KnickerbockerAl

      Do you even know what you’re saying. Get informed
      Dolan is an idiot and reckless. But he ain’t cheap and he will spend to win. Knicks print money. Go back to your small market lol.
      Fertitta is the one who gave him that contract. He didn’t know that Harden was the real boss. And he didn’t want to share with Chris. Morey knew all this. They could have traded Paul then. Or a sign n trade. Harden is not a team guy. Rockets banked on the wrong guy. Fertitta is a businessman. He is not in this to win. He’s in it to help his business. Sports is a business about winning. He doesn’t get that.

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